Anonymous attacks websites in a bid to help Assange

Anonymous attacking targets which draw their ire is nothing new. It's their main mode of operation, despite being an apparently leaderless group of people fighting for the greater good.

Attacking the government is one of their main pasttimes. They did some posturing and flexing about how they could handle the Mexican drug cartels last year, though this was quickly dropped by the 'leaderless' group of hacktivists.

If you really want to come to the forefront of the Anonymous hivemind, then you simply must mess with Julian Assange. The UK government has been trying to get Assange for a while now, so he can be extradited to stand trial for rape allegations. Whether he did or did not commit those crimes is disputed, but interestingly, Ecuador has offered him sanctuary to avoid extradition.

Anonymous have responded to the UK government's action, attacking the Ministry of Justice website. It appears to have been a concentrated DDoS attack, putting the website down. At the time of writing the site remains downed, and Anonymous have explained their actions as part of what they call "Operation Free Assange". They like their operations.

The Ministry of Justice has confirmed there are issues with accessing the site, and that they have no time frame for when it should be back. The Department for Work and Pensions, the Home Office, and the Prime Minister's website have all been targeted as well, though not with the same amount of aggression. It appears that the Ministry of Justice website is available intermittently, for I was able to access it after a longer period of time.

In addition to hitting the UK, they've turned their focuses on Sweden. They attacked the website for Primavi, leaving their calling card text.

The video embedded on the page is Assange's speech at the Ecuador embassy; watch it here.

Primavi's site has been disrupted for ten hours now, and it seems that Anonymous are intent on disrupting things as much as possible in their bid to 'help' Julian Assange. Yet if their help comes down to hacking sites, it might be worth wondering whether it will hinder him in the long run.

Source: Computer World UK

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19 Comments

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Time to face the music.

PS
The reason the UK has to extradite Assange is quite simple - there's an Europan Arrest Warrant out for his arrest. He's an outlaw on the run, wikileaks or not.

What is Anonymous helping him with? Running a site where high profile leaks occur or rape?

Pressure the governments to back off, that's one thing and I get that. But if his rape charge is legitimate and there is a victim out there waiting for justice, none of these groups can help him get away with that.

All I know about it is what was published in the news, but it seemed legit and there is a woman waiting for justice against the man who raped her. Is Assange using his notierity to dodge that crime? It kind of looks that way.

zeke009 said,
What is Anonymous helping him with? Running a site where high profile leaks occur or rape?

Pressure the governments to back off, that's one thing and I get that. But if his rape charge is legitimate and there is a victim out there waiting for justice, none of these groups can help him get away with that.

All I know about it is what was published in the news, but it seemed legit and there is a woman waiting for justice against the man who raped her. Is Assange using his notierity to dodge that crime? It kind of looks that way.

I guess you have been reading the wrong news.

A: He is willing to go to Sweden to face the charges (IF Sweden guarantees that he won't be extradited to the US)
B: He is willing to be questioned inside the Ecuador embassy (Sweden doesn't want to bother -- even though for this charge it is something they would usually do on the PHONE)

C: EVEN IF HE IS GUILTY, it is a *FINE* -- not jail time. Sweden uses the word "RAPE" a lot differently than the rest of the world. People like you hear the word, and assume the usual "He grabbed some chick and forced her to have sex" ... that isn't the case.

This is all about him not wanting to end up in Gitmo, and *nothing* to do with him wanting to get out of "rape" charges.

-- Brian

runningnak3d said,

-- snip --

This is all about him not wanting to end up in Gitmo, and *nothing* to do with him wanting to get out of "rape" charges.

-- Brian

Agreed. I recall that his victim was actually looking for some vengeance from Assange for him sleeping around (not just with her). She had actually tweeted about it, then deleted the tweets when she was called out. There are real rape victims whose cases are going unheard in Sweden, but the only reason that Assange is big news is because they want to lynch him for Wikileaks.

Tartan said,
It's the principle of the thing, a form of protest.

It's the principle of ****tards you mean .... The Department for Work and Pensions ...WOW what a target !!!!1! they so 1337 ....OK maybe not.

DDoS attacks' usefulness is on par with street protesting. Sure it's annoying when it happens but soon enough it goes away and people get on with the lives. These attacks and protests never really go anywhere in terms of effectiveness.

So they're trying to protect free speech by silencing their opposition? I'm reminded of what my grandfather said "I may not agree with what you say but I'd fight to the death for your right to say it"

jamieakers said,
So they're trying to protect free speech by silencing their opposition? I'm reminded of what my grandfather said "I may not agree with what you say but I'd fight to the death for your right to say it"

This sounds to me a lot like someone else, SOMETHING ELSE WITH A LOT OF POWER.... HMMM.... replace protect with oppress

I never understood how its possible for people to do stuff like this. Anyone wanna shed a light to explain briefly how they hack into all this stuff??

CW-88 said,
I never understood how its possible for people to do stuff like this. Anyone wanna shed a light to explain briefly how they hack into all this stuff??
First it is important to note that this is in no way hacking. All they are doing is overloading a server with requests. To give an example of how this works: Back in the day, a phone could only receive at most 1 incoming call. There was no call waiting. If you wanted to prevent someone from receiving or sending calls, all you had to do was constantly keep that line busy. Then we got call waiting, which allowed you to receive a number of calls at the same time, though I am not sure what the limit is there. Let's assume that limit is 10. In order to prevent that phone from receiving/sending calls, you would have to constantly call the phone with 10 other phones. In the same way, servers have a limit for how many requests their system can handle before the system slows down. The limit is high enough that a single person usually can't make enough requests fast enough to make the system bog down. Systems like Google's server structure can handle millions, if not billions of simultaneous requests. A personal and cheap web server usually can't handle more than a few thousand at best.

What Anonymous does is utilize bot nets, which are basically just millions of computers that they have some level of control over, and send out millions of requests all at once targeted at a single server. Because servers handle requests in the order of which it receives it, legitimate traffic gets lost in the traffic and sometimes just outright blocked.

This is what is called a DDoS attack. There is no hacking or skill involved and there is nothing impressive about it. They didn't hack the thousands/millions of machines to take over them. All they did was hit the big red button. It would be like a military grunt acting like he did something impressive by pushing the big red button to fire a nuke. Difference is, a nuke does damage. What Anon is doing is just being annoying and ****ing off the government. Since Anon supposedly cant be found/persecuted, the government which just take out its annoyance with these actions on Assange.

ILikeTobacco said,

<snip>

Thanks!

The other thing was the swedish website? How did they manage to show there calling card there?

n00b moment, im just intrigued lol

CW-88 said,

Thanks!

The other thing was the swedish website? How did they manage to show there calling card there?

n00b moment, im just intrigued lol

Usually this is just done with a bit of data mining or phishing. You would also be surprised how many people leave the default passwords on servers or use "password" or "123456" as their password. It isn't hard to get into a system that isn't very big.

neufuse said,
yeah because attacking websites is going to help him....

Sadly, a significant part of the public fails to understand that actions such as this are not, and have never been, about directly making policy change. It's all about awareness, getting a message heard, and to encourage what is typically a very small minority (a tenuous support mechanism). Getting an indifferent or uneducated public motivated is an uphill battle, especially when those in power will do anything to keep their power. Protest marches and civil disobedience are not about making governments change public policy, they simply instill the typically dormant masses to force allegedly 'public servants' to do so. In this instance, governments in the U.S. and U.K. are furious that something like Wikileaks came along and exposed numerous lies and distortions. So when Anonymous is doing something like taking down web sites, this isn't about forcing the White House to submit to anything, it's simply about awareness.