WikiLeaks Protests Attacked with Botnets..!!

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A cyberwar that sprung up in support of WikiLeaks is comprised of hackers using botnets, illegal networks of hijacked computers that can be used to multiply the attack. Twitter postings by people who say they're part of the attack accuse PayPal and others of blocking free speech. Using botnets increases the risk of prosecution.
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 An effort by supporters of WikiLeaks to take down Internet retailing sites at the height of Christmas shopping got a boost Thursday from hackers who can launch thousands of unwitting computers into the fray, Internet security  experts say.
The attackers, who briefly disabled Web sites for MasterCard and Visa a day earlier, also focused on PayPal, which accepts payments for 8 million businesses, said Tal Beery of Web security firm Imperva. The attack is "gaining more speed and momentum," Beery said.
Attacks on PayPal slowed operations but did not stop transactions or jeopardize customer  information  , spokesman Anuj Nayar said. PayPal blocked donations to WikiLeaks because it believes the online  whistle-blower encourages illegal activity, such as leaking classified documents, he said.
Twitter postings by people who say they're part of the attack accuse PayPal and others of blocking free speech.
Enlisting armies of computers, as happened Thursday, could cause the kind of damage that occurred during a conflict between Russia and the former Soviet republic of Georgia in 2008 and during Iran's 2009 elections, said Beth Jones of Internet security firm Sophos. Both times, hackers shut down government computers.
"That's when we're going to see how good the systems are at Amazon or PayPal," she said.
Internet activist Gregg Housh, who is involved with Anonymous, an organization working with Operation Payback, told the Associated Press that the number of computers at the group's disposal was rising rapidly, now about 30,000 strong.
Some companies threatened by online action, such as Twitter and Amazon.com, are considered less vulnerable because of their many defenses.
Beery, who monitors hacker activity, said downloads of software designed to flood Web sites jumped to more than 23,000 Thursday from 10,163 Wednesday and 3,369 the day before. More than 30% of the downloads were in the USA.
"One could have thought that maybe this is an anti-U.S. campaign, very Europe-centric," he said. "But it appears from the downloads that the biggest nation by far that participated in this campaign are citizens of the United States."
The growth indicates that hackers are using botnets, illegal networks of hijacked computers that can be used to multiply the attack, he said. Chat traffic on Internet forums show botnet owners volunteering to join in the effort, he said.
Using botnets increases the risk of prosecution, because Internet security firms monitor them and identify users to authorities, Jones said.
Trying to take down a Web site, even to register a protest, is against the National Information Infrastructure Protection Act of 1996.
In the Netherlands, a 16-year-old boy suspected of involvement in digital attacks by WikiLeaks supporters was arrested, the AP reported.

Source: www.cio-today.com

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