Pirate 'payback' attacks target web hitmen

The websites of the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA), the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) and an Indian anti-pirate organisation were crippled under a spate of coordinated retaliatory attacks.

The websites of the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA), the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) and an Indian anti-pirate organisation were crippled under a spate of coordinated retaliatory attacks.

DDoS instructions

4chan DDoS instructions (Credit: TorrentFreak)

The distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attacks were part of Operation Payback, launched by the Anonymous collective and users on the infamous online forum 4chan, which targeted and crippled the organisations' websites after it was reported the companies had previously attacked pirate websites using the same techniques.

AiPlex Software managing director Girish Kumar, a victim of the attacks, told ZDNet Australia that the DDoS attacks have continued since they peaked on Friday night.

"We are experiencing the attack on our website for the last few days, but it was pretty severe in nature during Friday [to] Saturday," Kumar said.

"However, we were able to put our site back in action whenever we noticed such attacks."

Online tests indicated that the AiPlex Software website was offline at the time of writing.

Aiplex is down

(Screenshot by Darren Pauli/ZDNet Australia)

Users were instructed via a post, captured by TorrentFreak, to download the Low Orbit Ion Cannon software, which is capable of issuing DDoS attacks, enter the details of the MPAA servers and wait until 9am EST on Friday to coordinate a further assault.

"We target the bastard group that has thus far led this charge against our websites, like The Pirate Bay," the post read. "We have the manpower, we have the botnets, it's time we do to them what they keep doing to us."

The attacks crippled the MPAA website, leaving the Transmission Control Protocol/User Datagram Protocol message "Payback is a bitch" and forced the organisation to relocate to a new IP address.

The MPAA did not respond to requests for comment at the time of publication.

The Anonymous group issued a press release stating: "We will prevent users to access said enemy sites and we will keep them down for as long as we can ... Anonymous is tired of corporate interests controlling the internet and silencing the people's rights to spread information, but more importantly, the right to share with one another."

In an email from AiPlex Software to torrent website BitSnoop, issued to ZDNet Australia from site administrators, Kumar again denied using DDoS attacks, but said the company can provide "technical inputs" to Indian government cyber police with authority to use the attacks.

"Further, if the [government] provides permission to cyber police to attack such sites, AiPlex can help the cyber police in providing the technical inputs. That said, one of the common method[s] one can bring down the site is DDoS attack," Kumar wrote.

BitSnoop administrators requested information about whether AiPlex Software would launch DDoS attacks after it was approached with a copyright infringement notice.

"From time to time we notice rather lame attempts at DoSing our site — but it is not so easy to do it with a torrent site," a site administrator told ZDNet Australia.

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