WikiLeaks Wars Hit Fax Machines

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The Anonymous group has expanded its WikiLeaks reprisal attacks to include fax machines

The Anonymous group’s camaign against perceived enemies of WikiLeaks has expanded to included denial-of-service attacks against the humble fax machine.

Operation Payback, the campaign run by the group has been encouraging members to overload the fax machines of companies that have cut ties with WikiLeaks, after the whistleblosing site began publishing documents leaked from US embassies. Hacktivists are encouraging members to send faxes to Amazon, MasterCard, PayPal, Visa, Tableau Software and Moneybookers, according to Netcraft.

DDoS attacks hit older tech

“This latest campaign by the Anonymous group is analogous to the distributed denial of service attacks it has been carrying out against websites over the past week,” blogged Netcraft’s Paul Mutton.

During the past several days, the group has launched distributed-denial-of-service (DDoS) attacks against Websites belonging to a number of companies and organizations, including MasterCard and PayPal.

“In essence, this has turned into a DDoS attack against fax machines. The group started the fax-attacks [on 13 December] at at 13:00 GMT and published a list of target fax numbers in their call to arms.”

“The Anonymous collective are being encouraged to send faxes of random WikiLeaks cables, letters from Anonymous, Guy Fawkes, and the WikiLeaks logo to the target fax numbers all day long,” he continued. “It is not clear how many people are taking part in the attacks, but an IRC channel set up to provide information about the campaign contained 73 users just a few hours after the fax-attacks started.”

Meanwhile, however, Anonymous has found itself under attack for supporting WikiLeaks, Mutton wrote. “Many users were knocked off its IRC network after its servers came under attack (on 13 December),” he blogged, adding the anonops.eu domain that used to announce the locations of IRC servers and the current attack target) came under attack as well.

The anonops.eu site remains down as of publication.

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