After news got out that the US Department of Justice (DoJ) took down the Megaupload sites, Anonymous hacktivists became furious and almost immediately initiated what some call the largest attack ever, launching distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks against major government and media industry representative websites, but also against the French anti-piracy outfit HADOPI.
“By taking down the Megaupload family of sites the The Department of Justice has shown once again that they protect only those with the deepest pockets,” Anonymous members said in a statement
They called the DoJ’s actions a war against innovation and started going after some major websites.
Operation Megaupload’s first victim was justice.gov
, the official website of the DoJ, and Universal Music’s main site. A short while later, the official website of the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) followed.
“REMEMBER REMEMBER We are Anonymous We are too many for them! #Megaupload JUSTICE.GOV RIAA MPAA UNIVERAL MUSIC ALL DOWN!” Anonymous wrote
on Twitter during the attack.
Three hours after the first target went down, the site of the Federal Bureau of Investigations also acquired a “Tango Down” status.
According to the AnonOps Communications blog
, the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA), the Belgian Anti-Piracy Federation, France’s copyright infringement watchdog HADOPI, the US Copyright Office, the White House’s site, BMI, and Warner Music Group were all temporarily taken down.
Former senator and the current CEO of MPAA, Chris Dodd was also a target, his personal website being on the list of victims made by OpMegaupload.
While some claim that Anonymous used the DDOS tool Low Orbit Ion Cannon (LOIC) to launch the attack, it is known that the hacktivists don’t utilize LOIC because the ones that use it are easy to trace.
Barrett Brown, also known as a spokesperson for Anonymous, told RT
that the authorities couldn’t have chosen a worse time to take down Megaupload, especially after they've seen the massive protests that took place against SOPA and PIPA the day before.
At the time of writing, most of the websites are back online except for Universal Music which probably still hasn’t recovered from the attack.