Sunday, December 12, 2010

Computer Hackers Stockpiling Ammunition

Computer hackers remain front-page news following the arrest of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange. A loose-knit, international group of hackers that calls itself "Anonymous" has been engaged in a number of denial of service attacks this week. The group has been targeting websites they see as being hostile to the WikiLeaks website which is still up and running, continuing to release sensitive confidential documents.

Reports are now emerging that WikiLeaks supporters are downloading increasing amounts of spam-shooting software in preparation for renewed cyber attacks as part of their continuing campaign which is know as "Operation Avenge Assange." Even the arrest of a 16-year-old hacker in the Netherlands who allegedly participated in the attacks has done little to slow the growth of the movement, which is reported to be attracting more hackers and bringing more computers into its fold.

These ongoing escalations would appear to be part of preparations for launching an attack on a grander scale with Amazon thought to be one likely target. The groups have already succeeded in temporarily bringing down the websites of MasterCard, Visa, PayPal and Moneybooks.

Whether or not Anonymous will actually attack Amazon is questionable. A press release put out by the group on Friday implied that the group did not want to alienate neutral members of the public by bringing down a major online retailer in the midst of people's holiday shopping.

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