If you hadn't heard, the file hosting site called MegaUpload was recently taken down by the US Government after the FBI served warrants in New Zealand to arrest the website's owner, Kim Dotcom, and several others. The US Government was able to seize the websites MegaUpload, MegaLive, MegaPorn and MegaVideo along with $50 Million in assets. The funny thing about this? The US Government didn't need SOPA or PIPA to do it either. Which begs the question, if the US Government has the power to server warrants in other countries, why the hell do they even need legislation like SOPA and PIPA to censor the internet?
The news of these sites being taken down in the looming shadow of the PIPA and SOPA debates as infuriated the Internet hacktavist group Anonymous, who began a campaign last night via Twitter called #OpMegaUpload to launch DDoS attackes on sites owned by the FBI, The Department of Justice, The MPAA and the RIAA. Apparently, this is the most wide-spread attack ever conducted by the group.
From The Mark News:
Yesterday's retaliatory attack on U.S. government and entertainment lobby groups' websites was the largest ever undertaken by Anonymous, the hacker collective. All told, more than 5,600 people around the world joined in to carry out the distributed denial-of-service attacks against the FBI, the Department of Justice, the Motion Picture Association of America, the Recording Industry Association of America, Universal Music, and the U.S. Copyright Office. According to Anonymous, that's the most sites the group has ever targeted in one attack.
One of the genius methods used in the attack was the use of fake links via Twitter to get total strangers to assist in the attacks. According to Silicon Republic:
The latest Anonymous attack, dubbed #OpMegaupload and spread via Twitter, tricks internet users into clicking on an Anonymous link that instantly launches a denial of service (DDOS) attack on US government websites or any site of the hacker group’s choosing.
So if you clicked on any of the links in the Twitter feed for #OpMegaUpload last night, congratulations, you helped out Anonymous in their attacks! Woot! You are now a hacktavist! You may want to think twice about clicking on links from Anonymous in the future though if you don't want to end up in jail. According to Graham Cluley from Sophos:
If you participate in such an attack, you could find yourself receiving a lengthy jail sentence. I'm not sure if participants in this instance would get away with claiming that they innocently clicked on links by mistake, so make sure you always trust the links you click on, even if they're shared by a friend on social networking sites.
What do you think about last night's attack? Is Anonymous fighting the good fight or are they hurting the cause to stop SOPA and PIPA? Let me know your take in the comments!