It appears that Hactivist group Anonymous have changed their ways of doing things and have now began to boycott PayPal.
The group has called for its supporters to deactivate their PayPal accounts in protest of the prosecution of several suspected members of Anonymous that are accused of partaking in the DDOS attacks against PayPal last year. Mercedes Haefer and 13 others are facing up to 15 years in jail and a large fine if they are prosecuted.
Operation PayPal is already underway and already Anonymous has reported that tens of thousands of accounts have already been deactivated. Not surprisingly, WikiLeaks has supported Anonymous’s cause and have published information about the boycott and ways to participate on their official Facebook and Twitter page. WikiLeaks had their PayPal account closed last year when the organizations fame grew; this led to a large DDOS attack on the website – effectively bringing it down.
The boycott can be linked with a stock crash of their parent company Ebay which has already dropped ~3%. It’s expected that it will fall even more as more and more people follow the actions of others and deactivate their accounts.
In a statement Anonymous said:
“Many of the already-apprehended Anons are being charged with taking part in DDoS attacks against corrupt and greedy organizations, such as PayPal.
What the FBI needs to learn is that there is a vast difference between adding one's voice to a chorus and digital sit-in with Low Orbit Ion Cannon, and controlling a large botnet of infected computers. And yet both of these are punishable with exactly the same fine and sentence.”
The group then goes on to say “Quite simply, we, the people, are disgusted with these injustices. We will not sit down and let ourselves be trampled upon by any corporation or government. We are not scared of you, and that is something for you to be scared of. We are not the terrorists here: you are.”
Due to PayPal still withholding funds that belong to WikiLeaks, it is not surprising that the organization would support Anonymous’s cause and operation. What has become clear is that Anonymous has made a real impact on PayPal and we may see future boycotts on companies as it's clear they make more of an impact than an organized DDOS.