just wondering if you guys have been reading up on all of this? i have and i am scared to what kind of after shock this will cause in the internet and how the government will react to it. (random news article[there are tons out there already])
It’s only 12.30pm in Boston and local IT guy Gregg Housh sounds chipper – he should be exhausted. His phone call with me is already his 34th interview today. He’s just finished chatting with CNN and in the middle of our conversation I can hear the “beep, beep” of another would-be interviewer on the other line.
Housh is the official mouthpiece of Anonymous, the loosely-knit group of computer hackers who brought down the Webvsites of MasterCard and Visa in retaliation for they way they have cut off funding services to WikiLeaks. He can reveal his identity because he’s not taken part in any of the illegal hacking activities. Instead, he observes what’s being said by about 3,000 folks on Anonymous’ chat servers. “I know everyone and what’s going on,” he says.
What’s today’s beef? “Mostly it’s been talk about PayPal,” Housh says. “They’ve been talking about what the next moves and targets are, but nothing seems to have risen to the top yet.” It’s not been that hard to choose targets in recent days. As soon as a company “does something to p*** them off… they launch the attack.”
There have been some 6,000 downloads of the group’s botnet, the tool to help carry out the attacks, but no indication of how many have successfully installed it.
The group tried and failed today to bring down Amazon (a pretty tall order) and is still working on PayPal for similar reasons.
Which are….? “Here’s the big problem: there is no proof of criminal activity,” says Housh of WikiLeaks and its founder, Julian Assange. “It’s the only ways people have to get you guys to pay attention,” he cries. “Aim number one was to get media attention. If they got no attention they’d stop.”
In that regard, the hackers have been phenomenally successful. As of this afternoon Google News is picking up more than 13,000 news articles about Anonymous, including soon enough, this one.
As Forbes’ Andy Greenberg reports today, the hackers and their attacks known as Operation: Payback have become a sideshow to the continuing “drip of scandalous information from WikiLeaks.”
Housh, 34, runs a company that consults on web optimisation and had his own brush with the law in his youth, when he illegally downloaded thousands of songs, movies and games. “I was very much made an example of,” he says.
We may hear more from him if another company declares it has cut off some form of service to WikiLeaks, though Housh cannot think of who else there could be. Or nothing could happen and the folks from Anonymous have less fuel for their online gripe sessions.
“It’s so fluid and there’s so little forward-thinking or plans,” he says. “We just don’t know what happens tomorrow.”