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4chan hackers abandon attacks on WikiLeaks ‘opponents’

The Anonymous gathering of ‘hacktivists’ instead decide to spread WikiLeaks’ documents as much as is possible.

Members of 'Anonymous' often wear Guy Fawkes masks in public, inspired by the film 'V for Vendetta'.
Members of 'Anonymous' often wear Guy Fawkes masks in public, inspired by the film 'V for Vendetta'.
Image: Wikimedia Commons

AN INFORMAL GATHERING of internet users from the imageboard website 4chan has abandoned its campaign of attacking the websites of bodies which had withdrawn services to WikiLeaks.

The gathering – which had adopted the informal alias ‘Anonymous’ – had attacked the websites of Paypal, Mastercard and Visa earlier in the week, after each of the services had apparently withdrawn their services from the whistleblowing website, apparently under political pressure.

Amazon had last week pulled its web hosting services from the website; PayPal, a few days later, had frozen the fundraising account opened by WikiLeaks itself. The websites of first Mastercard, and then Visa, were also sent out of order by orchestrated attacks, apparently organised through the 4chan site and a number of other mechanisms.

Now, however, that plan – ‘Operation Payback’ – has apparently been abandoned; instead, now, the hackers have launched ‘Operation: Leakspin’.

A graphic created by one of the users, announcing the campaign, appealed to users to instead begin searching through WikiLeaks for documents had that not received much exposure, and to begin posting summaries of them on YouTube under misleading tags like ‘Tea Party’ or ‘Bieber’.

The subversive “fun” was due to start at 2am overnight.

Previous campaigns – which employed DDoS attacks to flood the websites of their targets – had taken the website of the Recording Industry Association of America offline, in protest at its tactics on trying to curb filesharing.

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Gavan Reilly

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