Following yesterday's attacks on various websites that have been seen by Anon to oppose WikiLeaks, including Visa, Mastercard and PayPal, Neowin has been monitoring the discussions occurring within the group. What has become apparent is that the organisation and command structure of the group has collapsed, resulting in complete anarchy on their IRC servers, and even an attempted mutiny by some participants.
Since Twitter yesterday shut down the 'official' profile of the group, a number of alternates sprung up run by supporters of the cause, each trying to shepherd fellow Anon members towards the latest target. None of these accounts are run by members of the Anon 'command', and thus have often caused confusion and spread false information. A good example of this is the widely reported failed attack on Amazon this afternoon. In reality, there never was any plan to attack Amazon, and indeed, such an attack would be pointless with the numbers currently involved.
There has also been a lot of talk within splinter groups of a second attack against Mastercard, and a vote was taken to select that as the next target. However, with the commanders of the group out of contact, no new orders are being passed down, and the attack has continued to be aimed squarely at PayPal's API throughout the day.
In the past half hour, representatives of the people at the head of Operation Payback have reappeared on IRC, and announced that they are currently busy fighting to keep the IRC services online, along with the various domains and websites used by the group, and have no time to coordinate a fresh attack at the moment.
From an outsiders viewpoint, it appears that the group is now falling apart, and we could be watching the final hours of this Anon assault to defend WikiLeaks.
Update: The group has set their sights now on MoneyBookers.com, a UK based firm similar to PayPal. Like PayPal, they have been blocking donations to WikiLeaks. At the time of writing this update, the attack has been active for 50 minutes, with no noticeable effects, aside from a few seconds of downtime. This, combined with the failed attack on PayPal earlier today, just goes to demonstrate that Anon no longer have have the supporters they need to continue this campaign. No doubt though, once they throw in the towel, they will regroup and come back in full-force at some point in the future.
Update 2: Anon has released a press statement designed, in part, to refute the message of this article. However, given the failure of their latest attack, and the anarchy that has descended on their IRC server, we stand by what was published.
Update 3: An announcement was recently made by a representative of Operation Payback's commanders, to call off the attacks.
<&EvilBoat> Hey guys. We think we've made our point, and we should hold off for a little while.
<&EvilBoat> That's our opinion, thanks.
This has met with agreement from some, with one member saying "i agree with command. weve made our point and shouldnt attack anything anymore as of now", and another calling for reorganisation before any new attacks. Others seem keen to carry on the attack, with small groups trying to rally support for a fresh attack on Mastercard, meeting some support, but a lot of resistance from the rest of the group.