Remember, Remember: The Current Cyberwar with Operation Payback

We are at war.  Sort of.  If you haven’t heard, supporters of that Wikileaks dude (He was arrested a few days ago) have been shutting down websites using, uh, this thing they can do.  It isn’t hard.  The hackers just pump a ton of information into the website until the site becomes unusable.  They hacked Mastercard and Visa, because both these credit companies refused to take donations for Wikileaks.  They also hit Sarah Palin’s site.  Why?  I have no idea.  Sarah Palin isn’t an important person.  However, the reason they are doing it is perfectly clear.  Revenge and Attention.

Noa Bar Yossef, senior security strategist for Imperva, commented via e-mail to say, “Operation Payback’s goal is not hacking for profit. In the classical external hacker case we see hackers grab information from wherever they can and monetize on it. In this case though, the hackers’ goal is to cripple a service, disrupt services, protest their cause and cause humiliation. In fact, what we see here is a very focused attack – knocking the servers offline due to so-called ‘hacker injustice’.”

Wired also gave their wonderful two cents:

Online speech and corporate attempts to control it have sparked firefights before, but the naked control of commercial service providers over WikiLeaks’ cash flow and internet presence has sparked an unprecedented reaction that may not be easily brought to heel.

This stems from WHY this Wikileaks dude was arrested.  He was taken into custody over some sexual assault charges.  However, these charges may or may not be valid and they are old.  LA Times states:

Assange’s lawyer Mark Stephens said his client is innocent of any sex charges and speculated that the accusations are part of an effort by governments to silence him. “Many people believe Mr. Assange to be innocent, myself included,” he said. “Many people believe the prosecution to be politically motivated.”

Let me sort of say what everyone is thinking.  The Wikileaks founder is probably a jerk and there is probably something to the charges.  However, these charges are only coming up NOW because of all the leaks he’s been leaking.  You can’t do stuff like this without causing a shit-ton of trouble for yourself.  Was he arrested for nothing?  No, he was arrested for something, but it isn’t the reason he’s arrested.  It is like failing a class because you kept talking during class.  You didn’t fail because of your grades.  You failed because you’re an asshole.  And now, because of it, we have Hackers all over the world who have a pure, solid, and pretty much justified reason to hack the internets.  I put five bucks, five dollars down right now, that Facebook will shut down this weekend.  Five bucks.  Seriously.