“Hacktivist” Supporters of Julian Assange Allegedly Shut Down MasterCard Website

A group of anonymous “hacktivists” has reportedly launched “Operation Payback”—an online attack whose goal is to shut down the websites of banks and companies that have cut off business ties with Wikileaks. According to Huffington Post, the MasterCard website has been DOWN since approximately five o’clock this morning.

BBC has said that a group of hackers who are supporters of Julian Assange are taking credit for shutting down the MasterCard site. PostFinance, a Swiss bank, has confirmed that its website was attacked after it closed Assange’s bank account earlier this week.

Edited to Add:
From Huffington Post: WikiLeaks Cablegate LIVE Updates

From guardian.co.uk: PayPal admits US pressure over WikiLeaks account freeze


Huffington Post


– Elaine Magliaro, Guest Blogger

83 thoughts on ““Hacktivist” Supporters of Julian Assange Allegedly Shut Down MasterCard Website”

  1. Blouise, while I’m not one to advocate every generation having to invent the wheel that was kind of a hopeful sign; they’re not bound by the same chains, they don’t recognize the same symbols of power. That’s a lot of freedom to have on your side.
    And of course, any opportunity to giggle over disrespect to ol’ Joe is a good one 🙂

  2. lottakatz.

    re economist link: “who the hell is lieverman …. it was years ago”

    Too funny! Poor Joe …. ego buster

  3. BIL:

    ““The rape accusations against Julian Assange may be falling apart as one of his accusers leaves Sweden. Anna Ardin, one of two women behind the rape charges against the WIkiLeaks founder, may no longer be cooperating with prosecutors, the Australian website Crikey reports.”


    Exposed as a classic criminal SLAPP suit against a bringer of inconvenient truths.

  4. “cobels” sb “cobbles”, I’ve got to get a better spell check and more sleep.

  5. As long as streets are paved with cobels the peasants have weapons…

    I’ve been reading about the means of some of these attacks and it’s really amazing. Apparently there’s a small program that allows you to plug in a url and it keeps ‘redialing’ it. Get a bunch (a big bunch) of people that will press ‘enter’ at the same time and you can flood a site with so many requests for service that it brings the site to a stand-still. The site does not stay down but a point is made.

    That can be kicked up a notch and automated so that it doesn’t require a bunch of people but apparently some of the attacks are group efforts by anonymouse peasants all throwing their sabots into the machine at once. Cyberwar foot-soldiers, what would Orwell have thought of that? Strange new world.

  6. PS to Uganda: “And that ‘kill the gays’ thing, just make sure you pass that law first. Saying your doing it to protect the sanctity of marriage and save the children; genius!”

  7. While our intrepid DOJ pursues anyone who prints information about war and financial crimes we see a different attitude when actual war crimes are about to be committed: “America asked Uganda to let it know if its army intended to commit war crimes based on US intelligence – but did not try to prevent war crimes taking place.”

    Shit, just give them the medal of freedom and be done with it.

    US govt. to Uganda: “Just let us know when you’re ready to commit that war crime you’ve always dreamed of. Payments accepted through Visa, Master Card and PayPal! Instructions on torture available at Amazon.com.”

    (Cable info at the Guardian)

  8. Oh this is way, way too funny…Hell hath no fury like…..I wonder, if they had not made a pronouncement that they will leak damning evidence/information of some bank…if the man hunt would have been as successful…oh yeah he turned himself in…but why to the Crown….could it be something to do with Sweden’s and the UK’s types of government?

  9. I don’t do bit-torrent but the odds are good that the file has been downloaded and zipped into one big dl file on one or another of the pay to play sites. It seems logical.

    I have seen messages on various sites that say ‘The code has been cracked and if you want to read the files download’ and a link or links follows. While most here wouldn’t, just in case some of our visitors might be tempted: DON’T. It’s bs and ghod knows what mallware, virus’ or other ugly thing your ‘puter will be infected with. That’s probably a spam-related cottage industry by now, lol.

  10. Slartibartfast, BIL, and other gentle readers:

    The so-called insurance file would not be on your computer unless you choose to download it. It is a Torrent file, and you should have a Torrent client, such as BitTorrent, in order to download the thing. This is a monster file and you would not have it on your hard drive if you did not deliberately download it.

    If you are interested, here is a link to the Insurance File and if you wish, you can download a copy yourself for reference. I do suggest that if you do so, you save it to a medium that can be isolated from your computer, such as a DVD or flash drive. This precaution is in case there is come directed virus attack designed to delete or damage the insurance file, en masse. 1.4 Gigabytes is a huge amount of data, especially if one considers that most of it is probably text. FSM only knows what is on it.


  11. Buddha,

    Of course not, I just don’t think he’s hiding the encrypted file on people’s computers without their knowledge (the only copy I’ve heard about is in a Scandinavian bunker). I’m sure that the files, the key, and the links between them are as multiply redundant and fail-safe as possible – I think that Mr. Assange has been preparing for this since he started Wikileaks…

  12. Slarti,

    Do you really think a man who has gone about things in such an intelligent and forethought manner hasn’t given the key to (multiple) trusted others? Just in case he disappears or comes to harm?

    That would seem like a pretty dumb and unthinking mistake to make.

  13. Otteray Scribe,

    I agree Mr. Anssange is probably way ahead in this race (I certainly hope so as his life and liberty may well depend on it…). It really doesn’t matter how many computers the data is sitting on (although I’m guessing that the people who have it know that they do) since, as you pointed out, the file is about as useful as white noise without the key. It will be fascinating (and hopefully transformative) to see how this all plays out.


    It may be the case that Amazon can defend itself precisely because its business depends on its website…

  14. Yawn. Why don’t the “hacktivists” take-down Amazon.com’s website?

    Instead, it pursues organizations whose websites are incidental to their businesses (swiss bank, paypal, visa/mastercard). None of the latter organizations rely on their websites in a meaningful commerce manner…except…Amazon.com.

    The actions of the hacksters lack substance, unlike those who are attacking WikiLeaks’ website…

  15. SwM,

    The benches Dr. Harris refers to are very simple and simply beautiful.

    I think I discussed the following with AY but perhaps not with you … my idea of the perfect vacation is a tent (not a trailer, not a cabin) in the middle of pine trees preferably close to a body of water and my favorite place is the Black Hills … Custer State Park in South Dakota. On the water I am most at home in a canoe.

  16. Blouise: You are an amazing woman. Some of Aldo Leopold’s descendents are good family friends. I just knew J Brian Harris would know about them, but I did not think anyone else would pick up on it.

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