Last year, on December 17, Anonymous hacktivists and their supporters launched a massive distributed denial-of-service (DDOS) attack on the site of Gesellschaft für musikalische Aufführungs (GEMA), a German performance rights organization with some 64,000 members.
Individuals who believed that their large numbers would make it impossible for authorities to track them down were obviously wrong. German law enforcement conducted 106 nationwide raids to apprehend those involved in the attack, laut.de
While many of the users might have been hackers who knew how to hide their IP addresses during the attack, it’s clear that there have been a lot of individuals who failed to do so, allowing police to easily determine their identity and location.
During the raids, computers, smartphones, modems, documents and routers have been seized.
Similar to other situations, the attack on the site of GEMA was launched by utilizing a web version of the infamous DDOS tools High Orbit Ion Canon (HOIC) and Low Orbit Ion Canon (LOIC).
Those who wanted to participate in the operation were presented with a link to a pastehtml.com page that automatically started sending large packets towards the targeted website.
However, according to Spiegel Online, some of the users were fooled into clicking on the links to the web DDOS applications and unknowingly took part in the attack.
The reasons behind the operation against GEMA was the ongoing battle between the performance rights organization and YouTube.
As we saw back in April, the German company accused YouTube
of not doing enough to stop their members’ work from ending up on the video-sharing website.
If found guilty for the crimes, the suspects could be forced to pay fines or even sent to prison for a few years.