PayPal hit by DDoS attack after dropping Wikileaks

PayPal hit by DDoS attack after dropping Wikileaks

Summary: PayPal was hit by a denial-of-service attack on Sunday that took its blog offline for about eight hours, according to security researchers.

SHARE:
TOPICS: Browser, Security
44

PayPal was hit by a denial-of-service attack on Sunday that took its blog offline for about eight hours, according to security researchers.

The distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attacks came in response to a move by the payment giant to stop providing services to whistleblower website Wikileaks for donations. PayPal said Wikileaks had breached its user policies, which prevent its services from being used to support criminal activity. Wikileaks has been severely criticized for its decision to leak more than 250,000 US diplomatic cables.

"ThePayPalBlog.com is now back up after 75 service interruptions and 8 hours 15 minutes of total downtime. This report doesn't take into account the many hours that ThePayPalBlog.com resolved to a 403 error," PandaBlogs researcher Sean-Paul Correll said in a blog post.

For more on this story, read PayPal suffers DoS for spurning Wikileaks on ZDNet Australia.

Topics: Browser, Security

Darren Pauli

About Darren Pauli

Darren Pauli has been writing about technology for almost five years, he covers a gamut of news with a special focus on security, keeping readers informed about the world of cyber criminals and the safety measures needed to thwart them.

Kick off your day with ZDNet's daily email newsletter. It's the freshest tech news and opinion, served hot. Get it.

Talkback

44 comments
Log in or register to join the discussion
  • Criminal activity?

    How come the NYT, Guardian and Der Spiegel are OK but Wikileaks is not?

    I thought the US had freedom of the press.
    Economister
    • RE: PayPal hit by DDoS attack after dropping Wikileaks

      @Economister They are bonefide news sources - whereas Wikileaks is using extortion and blackmail (and is the originator of the leak, the Army Private notwithstanding who is the original criminal). Additionally Wikileaks has shown (and is) not acting responsibly with the information.
      JT82
      • RE: PayPal hit by DDoS attack after dropping Wikileaks

        @JT82
        In the civilized world there used to be something called "presumption of innocence". Obviously this is a concept that is no longer popular among governments and there are companies yielding to pressure. Also there are people like JT82 who have a really strong knee jerk reaction.
        Of course there is the slight inconvenience of 1st Amendment at least in USA. Acting irresponsibly with information you possess does not make you a criminal by itself.
        kirovs@...
      • RE: PayPal hit by DDoS attack after dropping Wikileaks

        @JT82

        How are they using extortion and blackmail? They are asking for no money, nor are they asking for any special treatment... or at least they WEREN'T until the totally bogus charges against Assange for 'rape' were filed or rather, resurrected.
        Lerianis10
      • RE: PayPal hit by DDoS attack after dropping Wikileaks

        Lerianis10 --

        "Totally bogus charges" ... wow, I hadn't heard that Assange had been cleared of those. When did that happen?
        Churlish
    • RE: PayPal hit by DDoS attack after dropping Wikileaks

      @Economister

      I'm pretty sure they can't terminate services for companies that they don't provide service for in the first place.
      PlayFair
    • RE: PayPal hit by DDoS attack after dropping Wikileaks

      @Economister,
      Freedom of the press is not tantamount to amnesty for aiding and abetting killers. Anti-government and anti-social types need to be reminded that...yelling "fire" when there is none is not protected speech and printing secrets just because you can is virtually the same thing. If the result of one's behavior is death.....one should expect NO sympathy from most people....and no rational person would say that wiki-leaks is helping to solve any problem. Since most of these leaks were released for the sole purpose of damaging the US Government and it's citizens without any other real reason, wiki-leaks must bear the responsibility for any real damage it causes ! Mr. Assange in an interview confirmed the things I have purported here.
      jonny2b
      • RE: PayPal hit by DDoS attack after dropping Wikileaks

        @jonny2b

        Funny, I am very rational (according to people on both sides of the political spectrum) and I say that Wikileaks is helping to solve a problem... namely, the overbearing and unnecessary secrecy that governments engage in today.
        Lerianis10
      • RE: PayPal hit by DDoS attack after dropping Wikileaks

        Lerianis10 --

        Do you believe that any government could operate with full and complete transparency? If so, then you're hopelessly naive.
        Churlish
    • Publishing without responsibility

      if i find a wallet you lost because of no fault of your own and decided to place all the personal info and credit card info in it online instead of returning it your saying i wouldnt be responsible for anything!

      SWEET!
      Ron Bergundy
      • RE: PayPal hit by DDoS attack after dropping Wikileaks

        @cyberspammer2

        Little difference... according to our Founding Fathers, government isn't supposed to have 'secrets' except for VERY short periods.
        The problem isn't with Wikileaks and you were comparing apples to atomic bombs there!
        Lerianis10
    • RE: PayPal hit by DDoS attack after dropping Wikileaks

      @Economister

      Yep and Fox News is the result.
      tonymcs@...
    • RE: PayPal hit by DDoS attack after dropping Wikileaks

      @Economister
      This has nothing to do with the US Constitution, this is about the PayPal company making a decision about a company they don't want to continue doing business with. WikiLeaks isn't a US site, so the US Constitution doesn't come into play here at all. Plus there is freedom of the press, but that doesn't give anyone the right to divulge classified government information without repurcussions.

      I'm just surprised that some of the other countries that he's done this to, including the US, haven't put a bullet through his head and thus ended the issue quickly.
      BrewmanNH
  • Heh. Good.

    I haven't reviewed PayPal's actual contract with WikiLeaks, but I would not be surprised to find that PayPal actually violated their own contract.

    Wikileaks hasn't broken the law; although its sources may have. However, because Wikileaks is a news agency, they fall squarely under 1st amendment protection. Furthermore, Wikileaks hasn't been convicted of any criminal activity. Ergo, PayPal deserves every loss of revenue they incur for their own illegal activity.
    Dr_Zinj
    • RE: PayPal hit by DDoS attack after dropping Wikileaks

      @Dr_Zinj - At the end section 10.4 of their User Agreement (6 specific things they can do omitted)<br><br><a href="https://cms.paypal.com/us/cgi-bin/marketingweb?cmd=_render-content&content_ID=ua/UserAgreement_full&locale.x=en_US" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">https://cms.paypal.com/us/cgi-bin/marketingweb?cmd=_render-content&content_ID=ua/UserAgreement_full&locale.x=en_US</a> <br><br><br><br>"PayPal, in its sole discretion, reserves the right to terminate this Agreement, access to its website, or access to the PayPal Services for any reason and at any time upon notice to you and payment to you of any unrestricted funds held in custody for you."<br><br>It would seem that PayPal can do what they feel is best for them and First Amendment protection is immaterial. Additionally, isn't it against the law to be in posession of stolen property even if you are not the one that stole it ?

      Edited to try to fix long URL originally with a space in it.
      dev/null
      • RE: PayPal hit by DDoS attack after dropping Wikileaks

        @dev/null

        You are forgetting that many courts have turned a leery eye towards those things and have motioned that they would throw them out if someone had the balls to file a lawsuit.
        Lerianis10
      • RE: It would seem that PayPal can do what they feel is best for them

        @dev/null

        You have hit the nail on the head.

        PayPal is not a government. It is a private company. If you want to use PayPal services, you, so to speak, play in their `walled garden`. If you do not the `garden rules`, then you are free to leave, and go elsewhere.

        I firmly believe that PayPal has handed Wikileaks the s----y end of the stick, and deserved to be `taught a lesson`. But, as long as PayPal is allowed to exist outside of the `traditional` banking industry, it can do as it pleases. Wikileaks has had its services pulled by Amazon for similar reasons. This action by private companies, with NO recourse by a person or company impacted by these unilateral decisions is one reason why I feel that `net neutrality` needs to be strengthened. Otherwise, we are at the mercy of big business who can, and sometimes do take actions detrimental to our interests as a result of `pressure` from external forces.
        fatman65535
    • Go back to your video games

      @Dr_Zinj Reality is far different from the world you live in, where apparently behaving responsibly is optional, and not doing so is your right.

      I can just see you falling off a cliff, and as you descend demanding you have a right to be on that cliff.

      In the real world, people need and expect a certain amount of privacy, and to violate that because they are public officials is wrong. In your dream world, public officials always, even when with mates or close friends, should speak nicely of everyone, are always neat and clean, smell good and never go to the bathroom or do other disgusting things; every waking moment and action or word should be made public, and of course only you are perfect enough to be able to withstand such intrusions into privacy (or are you?).

      Yes, politicians are generally sleazy, but no one short of yourself is perfect enough to run things correctly, so we have to allow them to be human and respect their privacy like we should anyone else's. Except in your fantasy world where anyone can say anything and have no consequences because the only god you worship is the first amendment.

      I have an idea; go down to east L.A., listen in on private conversations and then make them public...you have the right to do so...and if they don't like it, just tell them it's your first amendment right.
      garyleroy@...
      • RE: PayPal hit by DDoS attack after dropping Wikileaks

        @garyleroy@...

        Hmm, I'll go down to East LA, listen in on a drug conversation and a murder and then not tell anyone because fear is more important than ethics or morality.

        It's amazing how all you armchair philosophers keep avoiding the TRUTH. Or maybe the US is just so OK with corruption now that it's just more important to keep a lid on the lies.

        Unbelievable.
        tonymcs@...
      • RE: PayPal hit by DDoS attack after dropping Wikileaks

        tonymcs...

        Yeah, and I'm sure you're the caped crusader, going undercover in the 'hood and ratting out drug dealers to the police. Spare me.

        (...And I can't ignore the silly and naive equivalency you draw between drug dealers and U.S. military/intelligence efforts. In your mind, of course, I'm sure that America is much worse than any drug dealer, right?)
        Churlish