Welcome!

Cloud Security Authors: Elizabeth White, Pat Romanski, Maria C. Horton, Liz McMillan, Ravi Rajamiyer

Related Topics: Agile Computing, Release Management

Agile Computing: Article

We Seem to Be Having a Bit of a Cyber War

Vigilantes acting in support of WikiLeaks unleashed a torrent of punishing denial of service attacks

Even before WikiLeaks mastermind Julian Assange got hauled off to Wandsworth Prison in southwest London Tuesday, vigilantes acting in support of WikiLeaks unleashed a torrent of punishing denial of service attacks on MasterCard and the Swiss Post bank PostFinance, bringing down both of their web sites.

PostFinance, which confirmed the attacks, was down most of Tuesday and mastercard.com was still impossible to reach Wednesday.

Self-styled "hacktivists" who call themselves 4Chan and another called Anonymous, usually associated with attacking RIAA for its anti-piracy moves, have banded together in Operation Payback, ostensibly in revenge for MasterCard and PostFinance cutting off WikiLeaks donations.

PayPal, which pulled WikiLeaks' account last Friday, has reportedly been hit too but seems to be bearing up other than some difficulties with its blog.

The web site of the Swedish prosecutor's office, which is pressing the sex crimes case against Assange, was down Tuesday into Wednesday and then the web site and e-mail system of the law firm for the two Swedish women who brought the complaint were attacked.

Visa and Twitter are expected to be hit, Visa for refusing to handle any more payments to WikiLeaks, Twitter for not paying it enough attention to it and supposedly censoring the #wikileaks hashtag.

In retaliation Anonymous was hit and WikiLeaks itself has of course been under sporadic DDoS attacks since it started releasing stolen US embassy cables.

Since losing its wikileaks.org domain to DDoS attacks last week, WikiLeaks now has reportedly hundreds of mirror sites, DNS servers in multiple countries and thousands of encrypted copies of the 250,000 purloined embassy cables and documents shared with the wild using peer-to-peer networks as an insurance policy in case something bad happens to it.

In an interview WikiLeaks spokesman Kristinn Hrafnsson reportedly told ABC News that Assange's arrest "is not derailing us in any way. This is a turning tide and starting a trend that you can't really stop unless you want to shut down the Internet."

On a more conventional note Datacell, the Iceland-based company that has been handling Visa and MasterCard contributions to WikiLeaks for the last two months - until it got suspension notices late Tuesday - is fulminating on its web site about censorship, defending WikiLeaks' legitimacy and threatening to sue Visa, claiming "If large companies such as Visa or Mastercard, who hold the duopoly of the credit card transactions worldwide, think they have to put priority on political influence over the law, they have to be ready to take damage claims in the billions of Euro's and they have to be ready to loose a big chunk of their business. This might be very well the end of the credit card business worldwide."

On Wednesday Datacell CEO Andreas Fink recounted slightly more calmly that "Since yesterday around 22:30 CET Visa and Mastercard payments are being rejected on our donation system. We have received a suspension notice stating that Visa Europe has ordered our payment processor to suspend payments and undertake due diligence investigation in order to pretect [sic] the Visa brand ensure neither the payment processor nor Visa Europe is running legal risks by facilitating payments for the funding of the Wikileaks website. For the same reasons the payment processor has suspended the payments of Mastercard.

"The suspension period will be one week with effect from 8 December 2010 Danish local time. The suspension period may be prolonged.

"DataCell ehf who facilitates those payments towards Wikileaks has decided to take up immediate legal actions to make donations possible again. We can not believe Wikileaks would even create scratch at the brand name of Visa. The suspension of payments towards Wikileaks is a violation of the agreements with their customers. Visa users have explicitly expressed their will to send their donations to Wikileaks and Visa is not fulfilling this wish. It will probably hurt their brand much much more to block payments towards Wikileaks than to have them occur. Visa customers are contacting us in masses to confirm that they really donate and they are not happy about Visa rejecting them. It is obvious that Visa is under political pressure to close us down...."

"Visa is hurting Wikileaks and DataCell ehf in high figures. Putting all payments on hold for 7 days or more is one thing but rejecting all further attempts to donate is making the donations impossible. This does clearly create massive financial losses to Wikileaks which seems to be the only purpose of this suspension. This is not about the brand of Visa, this is about politics and Visa should not be involved in this."

More Stories By Maureen O'Gara

Maureen O'Gara the most read technology reporter for the past 20 years, is the Cloud Computing and Virtualization News Desk editor of SYS-CON Media. She is the publisher of famous "Billygrams" and the editor-in-chief of "Client/Server News" for more than a decade. One of the most respected technology reporters in the business, Maureen can be reached by email at maureen(at)sys-con.com or paperboy(at)g2news.com, and by phone at 516 759-7025. Twitter: @MaureenOGara

Comments (0)

Share your thoughts on this story.

Add your comment
You must be signed in to add a comment. Sign-in | Register

In accordance with our Comment Policy, we encourage comments that are on topic, relevant and to-the-point. We will remove comments that include profanity, personal attacks, racial slurs, threats of violence, or other inappropriate material that violates our Terms and Conditions, and will block users who make repeated violations. We ask all readers to expect diversity of opinion and to treat one another with dignity and respect.


IoT & Smart Cities Stories
The platform combines the strengths of Singtel's extensive, intelligent network capabilities with Microsoft's cloud expertise to create a unique solution that sets new standards for IoT applications," said Mr Diomedes Kastanis, Head of IoT at Singtel. "Our solution provides speed, transparency and flexibility, paving the way for a more pervasive use of IoT to accelerate enterprises' digitalisation efforts. AI-powered intelligent connectivity over Microsoft Azure will be the fastest connected pat...
There are many examples of disruption in consumer space – Uber disrupting the cab industry, Airbnb disrupting the hospitality industry and so on; but have you wondered who is disrupting support and operations? AISERA helps make businesses and customers successful by offering consumer-like user experience for support and operations. We have built the world’s first AI-driven IT / HR / Cloud / Customer Support and Operations solution.
Codete accelerates their clients growth through technological expertise and experience. Codite team works with organizations to meet the challenges that digitalization presents. Their clients include digital start-ups as well as established enterprises in the IT industry. To stay competitive in a highly innovative IT industry, strong R&D departments and bold spin-off initiatives is a must. Codete Data Science and Software Architects teams help corporate clients to stay up to date with the mod...
At CloudEXPO Silicon Valley, June 24-26, 2019, Digital Transformation (DX) is a major focus with expanded DevOpsSUMMIT and FinTechEXPO programs within the DXWorldEXPO agenda. Successful transformation requires a laser focus on being data-driven and on using all the tools available that enable transformation if they plan to survive over the long term. A total of 88% of Fortune 500 companies from a generation ago are now out of business. Only 12% still survive. Similar percentages are found throug...
Druva is the global leader in Cloud Data Protection and Management, delivering the industry's first data management-as-a-service solution that aggregates data from endpoints, servers and cloud applications and leverages the public cloud to offer a single pane of glass to enable data protection, governance and intelligence-dramatically increasing the availability and visibility of business critical information, while reducing the risk, cost and complexity of managing and protecting it. Druva's...
BMC has unmatched experience in IT management, supporting 92 of the Forbes Global 100, and earning recognition as an ITSM Gartner Magic Quadrant Leader for five years running. Our solutions offer speed, agility, and efficiency to tackle business challenges in the areas of service management, automation, operations, and the mainframe.
The Jevons Paradox suggests that when technological advances increase efficiency of a resource, it results in an overall increase in consumption. Writing on the increased use of coal as a result of technological improvements, 19th-century economist William Stanley Jevons found that these improvements led to the development of new ways to utilize coal. In his session at 19th Cloud Expo, Mark Thiele, Chief Strategy Officer for Apcera, compared the Jevons Paradox to modern-day enterprise IT, examin...
With 10 simultaneous tracks, keynotes, general sessions and targeted breakout classes, @CloudEXPO and DXWorldEXPO are two of the most important technology events of the year. Since its launch over eight years ago, @CloudEXPO and DXWorldEXPO have presented a rock star faculty as well as showcased hundreds of sponsors and exhibitors! In this blog post, we provide 7 tips on how, as part of our world-class faculty, you can deliver one of the most popular sessions at our events. But before reading...
DSR is a supplier of project management, consultancy services and IT solutions that increase effectiveness of a company's operations in the production sector. The company combines in-depth knowledge of international companies with expert knowledge utilising IT tools that support manufacturing and distribution processes. DSR ensures optimization and integration of internal processes which is necessary for companies to grow rapidly. The rapid growth is possible thanks, to specialized services an...
At CloudEXPO Silicon Valley, June 24-26, 2019, Digital Transformation (DX) is a major focus with expanded DevOpsSUMMIT and FinTechEXPO programs within the DXWorldEXPO agenda. Successful transformation requires a laser focus on being data-driven and on using all the tools available that enable transformation if they plan to survive over the long term. A total of 88% of Fortune 500 companies from a generation ago are now out of business. Only 12% still survive. Similar percentages are found throug...