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December 8th, 2010

Pro-Wikileaks Attacks Hit PayPal Blog, Swedish Prosecutors, Swiss Bank’s, MasterCard

Following the arrest of Julian Assange and MasterCard’s decision to block the ability of card owners to donate to WikiLeaks, the Anonymous group of hacktivists launched DDoS attacks against the Swedish Public Prosecutions Office and the credit card company.

Sites attacked by the Anonymous group have included, belonging to the Swiss bank which recently froze an account controlled by Assange, and also – the main blog operated by PayPal, targeted for refusing to process Wikileaks contributions. DNS outfit EveryDNS has also come into the Operation:Payback gunsights for cutting off Wikileaks’ DNS service, saying that online attacks targeted at the leak site were crippling its other customers. It seems that Mastercard’s “3D Secure” system is not working either.

Since the beginning of last week, when it began publishing leaked U.S. State Department diplomatic cables, WikiLeaks has become an organization non grata for governments and companies around the world.

It wasn’t enough that its website was the target of distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attacks and had to move away from its primary ISP. It also got kicked out by Amazon from its hosting platform.

PayPal then stepped in and suspended the organization’s donations account, while Dyn-owned EveryDNS terminated DNS services for the domain.

The latest blow to WikiLeaks came earlier this week when MasterCard publicly announced that it is taking steps to block people’s ability to donate to the organization.

WikiLeaks’ founder and editor-in-chief Julian Assange is also having problems. First, Swiss bank PostFinance suspended his personal finances account, claiming that he used a fake address when he applied for it.

Then, yesterday, he gave himself up to the UK police after an international arrest warrant was issued in his name through the Interpol for sexual assault charges in Sweden.

Anonymous, a group of Internet activists from around the world, who claim to fight against censorship and copyright, pledged support to WikiLeaks and vowed to attack anyone who stands against it. It started with the websites of PayPal last week and continued with PostFinance. Yesterday, the primary target was changed to, the website of the Swedish Office of Public Prosecutions.

Today the group is attacking, which is down at the time of writing this article. “WE ARE GLAD TO TELL YOU THAT is DOWN AND IT’S CONFIRMED! #ddos #wikileaks Operation:Payback,” Anonymous announced via its Twitter account. Mastercard’s PRs were unable to confirm any attack on payments systems but have promised us a more up-to-date statement.

It’s unlikely that hostilities will stop here, as following in MasterCard’s lead, Visa Europe also began suspending payments to WikiLeaks.

Credit: News

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