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News

DDoS Attack Launch At the Click of a Link

Sophos : 23 January, 2012  (Technical Article)
Twitter is being used as the vehicle for Anonymous links which encourage participation in DDoS attacks in protest against file-sharing site closure
IT security and data protection firm Sophos is warning internet users about the latest Anonymous attack, dubbed #OpMegaupload.  By simply clicking on Anonymous links, which are being spread on Twitter, users will instantly launch a denial-of-service attack which will begin to flood a website of Anonymous's choice with unwanted traffic.

Anonymous has claimed that it's attacking numerous websites in this way, including those belonging to the FBI, Department of Justice, RIAA, MPAA and Universal:

"We Anonymous are launching our largest attack ever on government and music industry sites.  Lulz.  The FBI didn't think they would get away with this did they?  They should have expected us."

These attacks follow on from this week's internet blackout, where thousands of sites participated in protest against proposed US anti-piracy legislation.  Further to this, file-sharing website Megaupload was shut down yesterday, and its founders arrested.

"In the past, Anonymous has encouraged supporters to install a program called LOIC, which allows computers to join in an attack on a particular website, blasting it with unwanted traffic," said Graham Cluley, senior technology consultant at Sophos.  "This change in tactic from Anonymous, which allows attacks to be launched by simply clicking on a link, means that internet users need to be extremely careful when clicking on unknown URLs or they could unwittingly be joining this latest zombie army."

"Don't forget, denial-of-service-attacks are illegal," Cluley continued.  "If you participate in such an attack, you could find yourself receiving a lengthy jail sentence.  I'm not sure if participants in this instance would get away with claiming that they innocently clicked on links by mistake, so make sure you always trust the links you click on, even if they're shared by a friend on social networking sites."
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