Yesterday we heard the news that internet hacker group Anonymous had begun an attack on Sony in retaliation for their legal threats against PS3 modders. But now things are taking a bit of a dark turn, even for Anonymous. An offshoot of the main OpSony Anon group called SonyRecon has decided that hitting the Sony sites and services with DDoS attacks isn't enough. They've decided to go after Sony employees personally.
Over the weekend, well known and feared internet vigilante group Anonymous called out Sony for their legal pursuit of modder GeoHot. Here we are today, and PlayStation websites and even the PlayStation Network are suffering some notable stability issues. Is Anonymous behind it? Sony says no, Anon says yes.
Anonymous strikes again. This time the target of this loose coalition of online hackers is the site of Broadcast Music Inc. (BMI). A DDoS attack hit the site late last night, forcing BMI to take the site offline. As of this posting, it is still not available. This attack is part of what Anonymous calls the "war on copyright".
It appears all that good natured DDoS-ing allegedly perpetrated by 4chan forum members has attracted the attention of the FBI. In the last few months, the group known as Anonymous has engaged in attacks on sites for the RIAA, Gene Simmons, the BPI, and other anti-piracy groups. The case may have been kicked into high gear when Anonymous attacked the US Copyright Office site last week.
A DDoS attack is a dead simple proposition. A particular web site is hit with huge amounts of traffic at a predetermined time. This almost always makes the site unreachable by overwhelming the servers. Participating in a DDoS attack could result in felony changes and large fines. In fact, a 23 year old from Ohio was just sentenced to 30 months in prison for (among other things) launching DDoS attacks.
Anonymous has always contended they are fighting for the free flow of information. The group considers the heavy-handed copyright laws to be a form of censorship. Those on the other side of the fence say they are simply trying to rationalize stealing content over p2p networks. Should members of Anonymous be prosecuted?
The MPAA's DRM promotional site is the latest victim of the internet machine that is Anonymous. The loosely affiliated group of hackers replaced the CopyProtected.com page with a manifesto regarding the state of copy protection technologies in digital media. The hacked site also showed a graphic based on the Pirate Bay logo reading, "Operation: Payback". After a few moments, the site would redirect users to the Pirate Bay. CopyProtected.com is currently still down, but the Anonymous content is gone.
The posting read in part, " You are forcing our hand by ignoring the voice of the people. In doing so, you bring the destruction of your iron grip of information ever closer. You have ignored the people, attacked the people and lied to the people. For this, you will be held accountable before the people, and you will be punished by them.” It is unclear what further action Anonymous will take in Operation: Payback, but they will probably make sure we know about it.
This is just the latest step in Anonymous' underground war against copyright holders. Recent DDoS attacks against the MPAA, RIAA, and the Ministry of Sound have drawn attention. Do you think these efforts are unethical, or is it a proportional response to the actions of copyright holders?
Boo. That's exactly what the various advertising networks on the Internet are saying to one another as they possess your browsing experience without your knowledge. Okay, so the situation isn't that grim--it's not as if the various Web tracking services and advertising networks are typing strange messages into your search boxes or sending you off to arcane locations via your address bar. Still, nobody likes the feeling like their activities are being looked at.
And that's where the Firefox add-on Ghostery comes into the picture. Like Casper, this friendly little ghost-themed program does an excellent job of showing you exactly who's tuning in to your Web activity. But that's not all--this extension does a bit more than just notify you of the fellow spooks in the room.
Click the jump to check out the rest of Ghostery's feature-set!
Many online commenters try and compensate for their lack of insight into the subject at hand by summoning their ability to enliven even the most vapid discussion with a highly stimulating cocktail of profanities. But not everyone can fully relish this amazing ability as not everyone possesses it. The practitioners of this colorful art are often persecuted by the prim archpriests of insipid internet discussions.
But the paper’s director of social media, Kurt Greenbaum, who had posted the concerned article, managed to track down the anonymous poster using the WordPress e-mail alert that accompanies every comment. The alert included the commenter's IP address, which was found to be from a local school.
“About six hours later, I heard from the school’s headmaster. The school’s IT director took a shine to the challenge. Long story short: Using the time-frame of the comments, our website location and the IP addresses in the WordPress e-mail, he tracked it back to a specific computer. The headmaster confronted the employee, who resigned on the spot,” Greenbaum wrote in a blog post on Monday. Was it right on the paper’s part to pursue an anonymous commenter? If yes, then what is the point of allowing anonymous comments? Have your say without the fear of getting fired.
The service hasn't even launched yet, but the unapologetically defiant torrent site The Pirate Bay has already received over 100,000 registrants for its new anonymity service, IPREDator. About 113,00 and counting are in queue for the IPREDator service, 80 percent of which are from Sweden, and comes as a slap in the face to Sweden's new IPRED anti-piracy law, for which the service was named after.
Expected to cost about $6 per month,the IPREDator service is a virtual private network (VPN) allowing users to connect to the internet anonymously by hiding their actual IP address and showing only a second IP addy provided by the VPN. Currently in beta stage and by invite only, The Pirate Bay says it will store no traffic data.
IP hiding sites and services have become increasingly popular in Sweden as of late, ever since country's new anti-file sharing measures went into effect.
If you wish to conceal your identity in real life, you need only to shove a paper bag over your head and alter your voice. Voilà, instant anonymity! But it’s not as easy to lurk in the shadows online—a savvy surfer can dig up all kinds of information about you, from your name and address to your social security number. And it doesn’t take a sophisticated stalker to track you down; chances are, you’ve left behind a trail even a first-year Boy Scout could follow. But fear not, today you’ll earn your anonymity merit badge from the Maximum PC Den, Pack 1337.