Weekend Anonymous attacks bring down major websites

Weekend Anonymous attacks bring down major websites

Summary: CBS, Universal Music, and Vivendi, among others, were brought down by Anonymous DDoS attacks over the weekend. Is Facebook next?

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What appeared in place of the CBS site during the DNS poisoning attack.

This blank page appeared in place of the CBS site during the DNS poisoning attack.

The Internet-based hacker and protest group Anonymous is still ticked up by the Department of Justice's (DoJ) takedown of Megaupload. Last week, Anonymous took down the DoJ, the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA), the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA), and Universal Music with a Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attack. Over the weekend, Anonymous brought down CBS, Universal Music, and Vivendi. Will Facebook be next?

While Universal Music and Vivendi, the French media giant that owns Universal, were brought down by a DDoS attack, CBS, ZDNet's parent company, was hit by a Domain Name System (DNS) poisoning attack.

In the CBS attack, it appeared that the site itself had been hacked and all its content deleted. That wasn't the case. The CBS site was fine. What actually happened was that DNS record for the site's IP address was changed to a fake site that contained a single blank page. IF you'd attempted to reach any of CBS's sub-sites, for a TV show's page for example, you would have gotten only a generic 404 Not Found error message page.

Anonymous is also planning on attacking sites that support the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA). Poland is expected to be the next country to ratify ACTA so Anonymous supporters are being encourage to attack Polish government sites on January 24th.

Facebook may be the next target. A video allegedly from Anonymous asks users to attack the popular social Website on 12:00 AM EST on January 28, 2012. No real reason for attacking Facebook is given, save "To show them indeed that we are not, playing." Attackers are encouraged to use DDoS programs for this assault.

However, there have been false claims before that Anonymous was going to attack Facebook. With no other reason than to attack Facebook than to show that it can be done, and with issues more important to Anonymous supporters such as the Megaupload takedown and ACTA demanding action, I suspect the Facebook call to arms is a hoax.

That said, sites that do have a stake in issues that Anonymous care about should continue to keep their DDoS defenses on high. As the last few days have shown, any site can be taken down by a sufficiently powerful DDoS attack or side-lined by DNS poisoning.

Related Stories:

How Anonymous took down the DoJ, RIAA, MPAA and Universal Music Websites

Anonymous to attack Facebook on January 28 (video)

Anonymous hacks DOJ, RIAA, MPAA and Universal Music websites

How to try to stop DDoS Attacks

DDoS: How to take down WikiLeaks, MasterCard or any other Web site

Topics: Security, Browser, Social Enterprise

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11 comments
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  • Wow. Maybe the kids at Anonymous should get girlfriends or something.

    As it is now they definatelly have no clue as to the concept of "other people's property".

    Could be why they spend their lives in basements with no real friends?
    William Farrel
    • RE: Weekend Anonymous attacks bring down major websites

      @William Farrel
      Instead of just flaming, why don't you explain to me how these "kids" can affect real political change in our current system without spending millions of contribution dollars?
      Sqrly
      • RE: Weekend Anonymous attacks bring down major websites

        @Sqrly Wow - not sure who is nuttier that statment or the Whack jobs behind Anonymous. And believe me they are whack jobs. And he is correct get a girlfriend vs. Rosie Palm and her 5 sisters are in order for the low-lifes.
        ItsTheBottomLine
      • RE: Weekend Anonymous attacks bring down major websites

        @Sqrly they are making real political change by fighting the judicial ruling to take down a world-wide money laundering organization who profited off of mass pirating? What next? Hit the prison websites to get them to release Manson?
        thoiness
    • RE: Weekend Anonymous attacks bring down major websites

      @William Farrel I suspect that these "kids" , if they are kids, are really hitting out at the likes of the big media corporations who are seemingly dictating to governements in order to protect the profit base for a small number of very rich people. I would imagine that these "kids" want to see an end to the kind of captialism that we have and in its place businesses who exist primarily for their customers and employees rather than shareholders. Disagree with their tactics by all means but this world cannot survive with 10% of the world population owning 90% of it's wealth. Lots of illegal actions in the past have changed things for us - would we be seeing cheaper online music and movies if it hadnt been for piracy? Each time I see someone taking half a million in "income" I see a "criminal" robbing the world economy as there is no amount of physical or mental effort that can justify it.
      cymru999
      • RE: Weekend Anonymous attacks bring down major websites

        @cymru999
        It's not about physical or mental effort at the $500K level. Those things are assumed to be demanded any time on a 24x7, and even so they are at the small end of the position's requirements. The $500K is about responsibility to certain goals agreed to (generally before the person agrees to take the job).

        Many do not understand what a large responsibility is and what it is worth and what happens when met or not met. They think it means always paying the water bill on time, or showing up for work on time, or transporting the till to the bank after closing. But those are teensy little responsibilities that anyne can do, in the real world of responsibilities.

        It might not be worth it for anyone to "be personally responsible for" those set corporate accomplishments, for less than the hypothetical $500K paycheck.

        Before making judgments about what a position is worth, one ought to know what the person in the position is really responsible for on a day to day basis and at the end of each quarter.

        It might be that no one who is qualified to take the job would do it for less. And I do mean qualified, not someone who just thinks they can do it or has so and so a degree, or knows an uncle, or sees the boss leave early and thinks that is all he does, etc.

        2 sides..
        opcom
  • RE: Weekend Anonymous attacks bring down major websites

    When we (the third world countries with dictatorships govs) looked at the the US and how free they are it would inspire us i really wished we would be someday like them, but now see what came out of it some legislation maybe stickier than our own!<br>I say this is the worst mistake by US ever! Internet should remain free
    L3thargic
  • RE: Weekend Anonymous attacks bring down major websites

    They're your kids.
    trm1945
  • explain this to these "kids"

    When petitions by millions of people, including the likes of the wikipedia blackout fail to send the message to government that they must listen to people rather than businesses, what is left but direct action?
    Democracy is a joke! The people elect politicians who are then told what to do by highly paid "advisors" in the pay of large companies. There are I suspect only a tiny minority of principled politicians and even many of these are fooled by the persuasive argument of professional lobyists. If you think this isnt true then you are either very rich (and therefore corrupt) or you walk around with your eyes closed.

    The huge advances in technology should have paved the way to improved lifestyle and better care for all mankind - yet what we have is a few million self motivated manipulators who have brought about a world financial crises which instead of dipping into their own pockest to solve they are asking governments to fix by worsening the condition of many of the poorest people in the community.
    cymru999
  • RE: Weekend Anonymous attacks bring down major websites

    They're such nice people... they remind me of grade school bullies.
    bb_apptix
  • RE: Weekend Anonymous attacks bring down major websites

    opcom - your argument might and I say might, have had some value if not for the fact that NONE of the people responsible for the fiscal meltdown were held accountable for their obscene bad faith decisions.
    spin498