Members of the Anonymous collective have hacked copyprotected.com, a website run by the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) to provide information about the copy protection awareness icon.The "Copy Protection Awareness Icon" was launched by the MPAA back in 2005 and according to the association "is used on certain DVD and Blu-ray discs to remind consumers that their purchased disc contain copy control technologies that prevent unauthorized copying of content."
The copyprotected.com website normally serves as an information portal, but earlier today it began displaying the logo of The Pirate Bay (TPB) with the caption "Operation: Payback".
"Operation Payback" is the name used by a notorious group of hacktivists called Anonymous, for its ongoing distributed denial of service (DDoS) campaign against the recording and film industries.
In addition, the hacked copyprotected.com website displays the group's Operation Payback manifesto, originally published on tieve.tk.
After a few seconds the page redirects visitors to thepiratebay.org. However, the torrent site's administrators have previously denied involvement in Anonymous activities.
The group uses TPB's logo and name, because Operation Payback is a response to DDoS attacks launched against torrent trackers by Aiplex Software, a company working for film studios.
Anonymous claims be a spontaneous movement with no leaders, but there is a core group of people in charge of choosing targets and organizing the attacks.
It's not clear whether this defacement was sanctioned by these senior members or was the result of others acting on their own, especially since the method is different than the group's modus operandi so far.
Operation Payback has been running for almost a month and consisted of daily DDoS attacks against numerous websites belonging to organizations involved in anti-piracy efforts.
"You are forcing our hand by ignoring the voice of the people. In doing so, you bring the destruction of your iron grip on information ever closer.
"You have ignored the people, attacked the people and lied to the people. For this, you will be held accountable before the people, and you will be punished by them," the Anonymous manifesto reads.