Anonymous, LulzSec vs. PayPal: eBay's cash cow in the crosshairs

Anonymous, LulzSec vs. PayPal: eBay's cash cow in the crosshairs

Summary: Anonymous and LulzSec have declared war on eBay's PayPal and have urged a boycott of the payment service and the fallout could have some real financial implications.

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Anonymous and LulzSec have declared war on eBay's PayPal with a boycott of the payment service and the fallout could have some real financial implications.

In a post on PasteBin, Anonymous and LulzSec took aim at the FBI, which has reportedly been working off a PayPal list of up to 1,000 IP addresses. The FBI launched a cross-country raid of alleged attackers and netted a few arrests.

Not surprisingly, Anonymous and LulzSec are urging a legal boycott of PayPal. The groups said:

In recent weeks, we've found ourselves outraged at the FBI's willingness to arrest and threaten those who are involved in ethical, modern cyber operations. Law enforcement continues to push its ridiculous rules upon us - Anonymous "suspects" may face a fine of up to 500,000 USD with the addition of 15 years' jail time, all for taking part in a historical activist movement. Many of the already-apprehended Anons are being charged with taking part in DDoS attacks against corrupt and greedy organizations, such as PayPal.

The antisec groups then urge folks to close down PayPal accounts. "PayPal's willingness to fold to legislation should be proof enough that they don't deserve the customers they get. They do not deserve your business, and they do not deserve your respect," said LulzSec and Anonymous.

Clearly, Anonymous and LulzSec have moved from hacktivism to activism and if successful a PayPal boycott is going to hurt eBay. Why? Three reasons:

eBay CEO John Donahoe gushed about PayPal and the possibilities. Donahoe talked growth:

PayPal has over 100 million active users and serves 9 million merchants worldwide. This provides a powerful foundation for attractive, sustainable growth. PayPal's merchant services business continued its strong growth momentum in all regions of the world.

Donahoe talked mobile:

PayPal mobile also continues to accelerate. While others talk about the promise of mobile payments, PayPal is delivering. An estimated 8 million people are now using PayPal mobile and we expect mobile payment volume to exceed $3 billion this year. That's more than four times the volume we did in 2010.

And Donahoe talked about putting PayPal into your friendly neighborhood cash register.

With our strong position and growth momentum in online payments, we plan to extend PayPal's capability to point of sale locations. We intend to help retailers grow their businesses offline in the same way we helped merchants grow online around the world. By the end of this year, we expect PayPal to be testing Point of Sale innovation with a major US retailer. And during 2012, we expect to be rolling out new Point of Sale experiences with up to 20 national retailers.

In other words, eBay is becoming PayPal as other parts of the business mature.

Now let's spin this forward. Should Anonymous and LulzSec succeed with a boycott it could knock PayPal down a few pegs. Meanwhile, security issues could diminish confidence in PayPal. Simply put, payment systems are a lot like banks. They only function if there's confidence in the model and security.

Add it up and the Anonymous and LulzSec storyline remains interesting and newsworthy. But the now the table stakes are much higher. There are billions of dollars potentially at stake.

Related:

Topics: Security, Banking, E-Commerce, Enterprise Software, Government, Government US

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165 comments
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  • RE: Anonymous, LulzSec vs. PayPal: eBay's cash cow in the crosshairs

    "and if successful a PayPal boycott . . . "

    You seriously think anybody listens to these clowns?
    CobraA1
    • RE: Anonymous, LulzSec vs. PayPal: eBay's cash cow in the crosshairs

      @CobraA1 I'm with you on that. All those eBay sellers are gonna do...what?
      bigsibling
    • RE: Anonymous, LulzSec vs. PayPal: eBay's cash cow in the crosshairs

      @CobraA1 "Clowns"...they not even worth that name...
      ItsTheBottomLine
    • RE: Anonymous, LulzSec vs. PayPal: eBay's cash cow in the crosshairs

      @CobraA1 I don't think the issue is in the boycott. The worry for Paypal was put in perspective at the end of the article.

      "Simply put, payment systems are a lot like banks. They only function if there?s confidence in the model and security."

      If Anonymous & LulzSec can successfully compromise people's confidence in using Paypal. People will look for alternative services. Paypal can't afford to be complacent here. Their security procedures and protocols have probably never been under greater scrutiny.
      jmccormick79
      • ok... move on one step.

        @jmccormick79

        What are the alternatives to paypal on ebay? NONE... nobody is interested in cash or cheques. If we keep dealing we will deal in Paypal, and I suspct we will keep dealing.

        At the end of the day; if they can steal the accounts and passwords at Paypal we'd all better start getting paid in cash again. Who's going to trust the banks after that.
        johnmckay
    • RE: Anonymous, LulzSec vs. PayPal: eBay's cash cow in the crosshairs

      @CobraA1 Clowns have more dignity and decency.
      I12BPhil
    • Clowns.. good description.

      @CobraA1<br>You hit it... If these clowns want to boycott PayPal, then I will make sure that my next purchase is done thru PayPal.
      Belmosan
      • RE: Anonymous, LulzSec vs. PayPal: eBay's cash cow in the crosshairs

        @Belmosan
        laying down a challenge? you are either very brave or a fool...
        lskong
    • RE: Anonymous, LulzSec vs. PayPal: eBay's cash cow in the crosshairs

      @CobraA1 <br><br>>You seriously think anybody listens to these clowns?<br><br>The FBI did. So did CBS News and ZDNet.
      Lengo
    • RE: Anonymous, LulzSec vs. PayPal: eBay's cash cow in the crosshairs

      @CobraA1 et al ... you folks all sound like cogs in the wheel of the corporate-American-government big brother. Maybe you should study your American history again, our founding revolutionary-fathers were similarly insulted by the meatheads and nimrods of their day.
      PrBeacon
      • RE: Anonymous, LulzSec vs. PayPal: eBay's cash cow in the crosshairs

        @PrBeacon

        Hmmmm.

        Not Big Brother, this is a private company not government. Referring to your rich, land and slave owning forefathers doesn't really help.

        I've admired some of the thing Lulzsec and Anonymous have attempted, but I beginning to think this shows who these people are - 14 year old males and their attitude to PayPal responding to a legal request is typically immature.

        That's the problem with power, it corrupts ;-)
        tonymcs@...
      • RE: Anonymous, LulzSec vs. PayPal: eBay's cash cow in the crosshairs

        @Tonymcs - pity private industry has bought government... Otherwise...


        Actually, big corporate and hackers see us all in the same way - numbers with $ signs attached, depending on form of use. Labor = small $ and marketing or thieving = big $
        HypnoToad72
    • RE: Anonymous, LulzSec vs. PayPal: eBay's cash cow in the crosshairs

      @CobraA1

      I would watch who you call clowns dog....

      We are Anonymous. We are Legion. We do not Forgive. We do not Forget. Expect Us
      MLHACK
      • RE: Anonymous, LulzSec vs. PayPal: eBay's cash cow in the crosshairs

        @MLHACK <br><br>Wooo - I'm so scared. Whaddya gonna do about it? :o
        COGlory
      • RE: Anonymous, LulzSec vs. PayPal: eBay's cash cow in the crosshairs

        @MLHACK : Bring it, bizznatch!
        FrackAnon
      • RE: Anonymous, LulzSec vs. PayPal: eBay's cash cow in the crosshairs

        @MLHACK So if you are really Anonymous (and somehow I get the feeling you are like that guy on the corner wearing MS-13 colors and hoping the real MS-13 doesn't show up)... you are threatening people for commenting on a ZDnet article? Really?
        gtvr
      • RE: Anonymous, LulzSec vs. PayPal: eBay's cash cow in the crosshairs

        @MLHACK
        And you WILL be caught and we will laugh at you as you spend the rest of your days in a no so very nice place with the rest of your friends. You are nothing more then keyboard cowards.
        Stan57
      • RE: Anonymous, LulzSec vs. PayPal: eBay's cash cow in the crosshairs

        @MLHACK
        ...We Also do not Care about Proper Capitalization Rules.
        jmwells21
    • RE: Anonymous, LulzSec vs. PayPal: eBay's cash cow in the crosshairs

      @CobraA1
      Many do, but are there enough of those in USA to make any difference with boycott is what I doubt... Well, one can always wish...
      robsku
  • RE: Anonymous, LulzSec vs. PayPal: eBay's cash cow in the crosshairs

    People break into servers, however poorly secured, and then are mad when they get arrested?

    The lock on the front door of my house would probably be very easy to pick, or, just break an window and gain entry that way. People don't do that because they know they will be pursued by the police and prosecuted if caught.

    There is no such thing as perfect physical security, ditto for digital security. That's why we have laws and police.
    txscott