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Anonymous carries out cyber attack on U.S. Chamber of Commerce

Posted at 26 May 2011 00:00 CEST by Justin_Massoud

Some questioned if recent in-fighting between hacker collective Anonymous’ more vocal members would affect the group’s efficacy combating its latest target, the “Protect IP” bill. Considering the group launched a DDoS attack on Monday which temporarily knocked out service to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s official website, the answer is fairly clear: it didn’t.

ZeroPaid noticed the website outage and a message on Twitter by “@Anony_Ops” that confirmed the LOIC-powered DDoS attack, part of the group’s ongoing “Operation Payback,” had succeeded.

“Current target: www.uschamber.com :: Status: Down,” read the message, which also went on to explain the motivation behind the movement: the controversial “Protect IP” bill, which is backed by Senators Patrick Leahy (D-Vermont), Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) and Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa).

VentureBeat, however, reported that the attack was a bust and the site was “humming and shows no sign of slowing down” following the scheduled cyber assault. Other reports suggest the downtime was just extremely brief.

Anonymous members may also be on the verge of targeting specific Senators.

One member at AnonNews recommended that others should “tweet some hate” at the bill’s authors. Another commenter ominously suggested that those interested in aiding the operation should save their questions for an IRC this Thursday so the group is “a well oiled and ready machine on Friday.”

Many fear “Protect IP” (.pdf) could potentially grant overwhelming power to the government, allowing it to essentially shut down sites at will, regardless of whether or not copyright infringement took place.

Erik Schmidt, Google’s Executive Chairman, warned last week that combating a complex issue such as piracy with a simple response would do more harm than good. Schmidt suggested a decision to “whack off DNS” would “set a very bad precedent” and could potentially result in internet censorship akin to what presently happens in China. The executive promised to fight any passed law which restricts or disallows free speech.

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