The “Operation Payback” DDoS attacks initiated by Anonymous against several organizations affiliated with the recording industry are now well into the third week and show no signs of stopping anytime soon.
Earlier this week, the group initiated two new attacks against UK law firm Gallant Macmillan and their client, music label Ministry of Sound.
The event which is said to have provoked Anonymous was a Monday court date, where the law firm was attempting to gain legal access to the identities of hundreds of citizens accused of illegally downloading Ministry of Sound’s music. In a statement released by the group prior to the attack, Anonymous stated that Gallant Macmillan, have declared themselves our enemies by sending out thousands of blackmailing letters against innocents, seeking compensation for copyright infringements that don’t exist.”
It has been reported that Gallant Macmillan was somehow warned about the impending attack and was able to pull their website offline before any activity took place. Ministry of Sound was not so fortunate, however, and the DDoS attack left their site inaccessible for the majority of Sunday and Monday.
As we reported last week, several groups have already been affected by similar attacks beginning with the MPAA who had launched their own DDoS attacks against BitTorrent websites. Other victims of Anonymous’ retaliation include the RIAA, the Australian Federation Against Copyright Theft, AiPlex (who launced the first DDoS attacks against The Piraty Bay and others), the British Phonographic Industry, and ACS:Law.
Anonymous has no plans to stop anytime soon. In an interview with security firm Panda Labs this week, a representative from the group was asked how long the attacks will last. “There is no time frame. We will keep going until we stop being angry,” the rep replied.
Even before the recent Ministry of Sound attack, Panda Labs had reported a total of 474 hours of combined downtime and 623 separate service interruptions.
These DDoS attacks have clearly produced positive results for file-sharers, with the most notable damage occurring when ACS:Law accidentally posted their entire internal email online for public download, exposing their unscrupulous behavior and breaching the privacy information of many UK citizens. The attacks are also finally drawing more media attention to the other side of the piracy argument that believes government control over the internet is not the answer to piracy issues.
We’ll continue to keep you updated on the events of “Operation Payback” as they unfold.