Anonymous will attack until it 'stops being angry'

Anonymous will attack until it 'stops being angry'

Summary: The online collective has vowed to keep using distributed denial-of-service attacks against the anti-piracy lobby, according to an interview with the security company PandaLabs

TOPICS: Security

Anonymous, the online collective engaged in a global cyber-war with the pro-copyright industry, has said it will not end its attacks until it stops being angry at its enemies.

Operation Payback flyer image

Anonymous's campaign against anti-piracy organisations has been dubbed 'Operation Payback'. Photo credit: Darren Pauli/ZDNet Australia

In an interview on Wednesday with security company PandaLabs, which has been in contact with Anonymous since the attacks and counter-attacks began, an organiser of the group said Anonymous had a mission to "fight back against the anti-piracy lobby". The organiser said that the collective had been provoked by the UK Digital Economy Bill and "three-strikes legislation in the EU" — a possible reference to France's Hadopi laws or MEPs' recent backing of a copyright crackdown document. The organiser added that their attacks would "keep going until we stop being angry".

The attacks by Anonymous, which describes itself as non-hierarchical anarchy, began after an Indian security firm called AiPlex Software assaulted the servers of file-sharing sites such as The Pirate Bay with distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) assaults. Anonymous responded with its own DDoS attacks in a campaign called 'Operation Payback', first targeting the websites of US rights holder groups the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) and the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA), then turning to smaller companies such as AiPlex and UK law firms who act on behalf of rights holders.

One of those law firms was ACS:Law, which is under investigation by the Solicitors Regulation Authority for sending letters to thousands of people suspected of unlawfully file-sharing pornography and other media, and asking for money in exchange for not taking the suspected infringers to court. In the wake of that attack, ACS:Law appears to have inadvertently exposed files, including the personal details of thousands of letter-recipients, to the public. Anonymous members have since distributed these files online. The case is now being looked at by the UK Information Commissioner's Office.

As a side-effect of that case, BT also admitted that it had emailed the details of hundreds of its customers to ACS:Law in an unencrypted format.

The websites of multiple anti-piracy organisations and their affiliates in the UK, the US, India and Australia continue to come under DDoS attack. According to PandaLabs, anonymous chat servers — which Anonymous uses to organise its attacks — are also being hit, with some evidence to suggest these strikes are coming from botnets controlled by AiPlex.

In the PandaLabs interview, the Anonymous organiser said unlawful file-sharing was "the next step in a cultural revolution of shared information", and the "beginnings to an information singularity; a beginning of true 'equality of opportunity', regardless of wealth or capacity".

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The organiser said Anonymous members were prepared to go to jail for the campaign, but had "taken every measure we can to make sure that our anonymity remains intact". The interviewee said most participants in the attacks were aware of their illegality, but "in a world where our voice is ignored we feel we have no choice but to revert to direct action".

"More importantly, why isn't this question [about willingness to go to jail] asked to the very people who hired AiPlex to attack us in the first place?" the organiser is quoted as saying.

The interviewee identified the full list of Anonymous's victims as being: the MPAA; RIAA; The British Phonographic Industry (BPI); the Australian Federation Against Copyright Theft (Afact); the Dutch trade association Stichting Bescherming Rechten Entertainment Industrie Nederland (BREIN); ACS:Law; AiPlex; internet policing specialist Web Sheriff; and DG Legal. He or she said Anonymous's ultimate goal was for such media authorities to "basically go the fuck away altogether".

Topic: Security

David Meyer

About David Meyer

David Meyer is a freelance technology journalist. He fell into journalism when he realised his musical career wouldn't pay the bills. David's main focus is on communications, as well as internet technologies, regulation and mobile devices.

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  • Sky handed over private user data, including lists of p0rn sites they visited to ACS Law. If you are a Sky ISP customer, you should wonder how they can legally do this!

    You may with to start a lawsuit against them, especially if it turns out they actually sold your private surfing data to ACS Law.

    As for "Anonymous spokesman", sham, you can't herd angry internet users the way you herd sheep. Thus anyone claiming to be their 'spokesman' is spouting nonsense, there is no command structure.
  • He or she didn't call themselves a spokesperson - they are only identified by PandaLabs as being an Anonymous organiser. Concerted action, even by anarchists, requires organisers. We used the word 'spokesperson' because, well, that's what they were doing in effect.
    David Meyer
  • To say he's an organizer assumes there is any kind of organization. Trying to call the group of random and inconsistent basement dwellers that troll /b/ (the random board) a group, very less organized, is a falsehood.

    What people don't understand about the use of "anonymous" within /b/ is that they are truly as an adjective not a noun - anonymous [users]. There is no group. There are simply anonymous users that happen to be logged on and have seen that thread. Threads on /b/ only stay visible for about an hour, and then are permanently deleted (or archived, though this rarely happens). Anyone that's ever been to the actual board would understand this - when you post it requires no username or password or account. It is simply anarchical anonymity.
  • "anonymous4u"

    You mean (dynamic revolutionary's) that can be operational within a moments notice, or our Yin to their Yang a.k.a (Poetic Justice).