FBI Raids Anonymous Over Pro-WikiLeaks Attacks

The FBI has finally set its sights on Anonymous, according to this recent Ars Technica story. The investigation is related to the groups’ attacks on various corporations and organizations that it felt had wronged Wikileaks and its founder Julian Assange.

The FBI said that it executed more than 40 search warrants across the United States last Thursday. At the same time, British police arrested five men who allegedly participated in the group’s denial of service attacks on various corporations such as Visa, Mastercard, PayPal and Amazon in mid-December. Anonymous targeted these companies after they cut off access to WikiLeaks.

According to Ars, thousands of users – keen to participate – downloaded a tool called LOIC (affectionately referred to as Low Orbit Ion Cannon) that gave access to the computers to join a group attack on a designated target.

One thing the program didn’t do was hide users’ IP addresses, making it easy for investigators to get logs from target web sites and track down the perpetrators of the attacks.

No doubt this is just the beginning of the FBI’s raids related to Anonymous. No specific arrests have ben announced. The FBI also issued a warning to anyone wanting to join in on an Anonymous DDoS attack in the future:

"The FBI also is reminding the public that facilitating or conducting a DDoS attack is illegal, punishable by up to 10 years in prison, as well as exposing participants to significant civil liability."

Translation: It starts with a free ride in the party van. For a first-hand account of how an FBI raid might play out, check out this article on Ars Technica.

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  1. 0
    Thad says:

    Yes, who could forget how Martin Luther King bravely stood up for minority rights by double-clicking an executable file and then going about his daily routine?

  2. 0
    F__ked up says:

    Exactly, Annoymous are cowards and pussies for not Protesting in person. Our society to day will NOT quickly demonize the people who commit protest. The government propaganda machine will NOT use the laws such as the patriot act to quickly label protestors as Terrorist and ship them off. After all we had Bradley Manning who is believed to responsible for the leaks currently being tortured and other whistle blowers quickly being fired from their jobs unable to find others. It also speaks cowerdice of these people who are trying to still work and carry on with their daily lives since none of them have establish themselves as the level of Ghandi or Martin Luther King Jr, who are nothing more than Criminals who broke the law. These protestors are Terrorist, along with Julian Assange who are trying to take down the government and Destory America. They must be arrest WITHOUT a TRIAL and DUE PROCESS as stated by the PATRIOT ACT. They should just step forward and give up their life.

  3. 0
    Elle says:

    The difference between MLK and Ghandi and any of the great leaders who used civil disobedience vs Anonymous is that the former knew they could get arrested and did it anyway, because civil disobedience (which is breaking the law by definition) carries that risk and you have to take it in stride.  Doing the act (behind the assumed protection of aynonymity), and then going "no fair, they’re arresting us for it!" speaks of cowardice, not courrage.

  4. 0
    Thad says:

    Now see, that’s the first coherent defense of Anonymous I’ve seen in this thread.  I still don’t think DDoS attacks are either justifiable or an effective form of protest, but you make a good point about potentially disproportionate retaliation from a government protecting its own interests.

    Food for thought, anyway.

  5. 0
    Thad says:

    He’s clearly saying that Anonymous is in the right and the government is overreaching its power in going after them.  Which tends to imply that Anonymous’s actions do not warrant federal investigation.

    My question is, if they’re a violation of federal law, how do they not warrant federal investigation?

  6. 0
    Neeneko says:

    I think the point is that we are in the middle of debate involving ethics and power, and one side having the law support the does not necessarily mean that they are in the right.

    The analogy, while rather hyperbolic, does hold to a degree.  You had a group of people preforming what could be considered a meatspace DOS attack against local businesses that were appearing to support government policy that disadvantaged them.  The government clearly had the law on their side since, well, they wrote it, but history judged the protesters in the right.

    Today you have groups causing economic discomfort (I would not even call it harm) to companies that are enforcing government will in ways that the government itself can not legally do, essentially acting as a constitutional loophole.  You have a weak group using the tactics they have at their disposal (because they lack the leverage to take on the big players on their own terms) and federal agents trying to stop the.  In 20 years history will judge which side was behaving more ethically or for the greater good, but today it is not terribly clear.

  7. 0
    F__ked up says:

    Huh? I was agreeing with you. People who are "protesting" were just people commiting criminal acts. these Annoymous people were "protesting" about government & corporate censorship using Illegal Means. They need to brought to justice because they affected business and caused problems for the rest of the public just like Martin Luther King Jr did with his "Civil Rights Protest". They specifically targeted government offices and business that were upholding segregation laws. Hell I had to walk 1 mile to get groceries since these "Protestors" were blocking traffic, and the stores next to my apartment had to shut down due to these "protestors". They targeted those stores destroying the Whites Only signs cause me UNDUE hardship because of these "protest." The school I was attending had to be shut down thanks to sit in becuase it was White Only, after all it was my CHOICE to attend a WHITES ONLY school which was normal at the time. The Police should have just round them all up for breaking the law. The Law is the Law written by humans. For Breaking the Laws because they were being “oppressed” was just stupid and dumb, they should have imprisoned for life. Was All that trouble worth it? NO! Take a HINT Egypt.


  8. 0
    E. Zachary Knight says:

    —————->My comment

    (Your head)

    I was referring to people specifically targeting you, your home and place of employment for the sole purpose of doing you harm just because they don’t like a legal choice you made.

    Your analogy doesn’t fit.

    E. Zachary Knight
    Oklahoma City Chapter of the ECA

    E. Zachary Knight
    Divine Knight Gaming
    Oklahoma Game Development
    Rusty Outlook
    Random Tower
    My Patreon

  9. 0
    F__ked up says:

    Last time people block my home and prevented me from going to work was Martin Luther King Jr was arrested for protesting at the local city hall. Damn Bastards and all the rest of people got Police and Fire Departments involved. I couldnt go to work and lost my apartment since I didnt make enough that month to pay rent since the RIOT went on for 3 days. Worst of all I was shot with a fire hose after trying to buy groceries so I could eat. All this because of some Black people were required to take some literacy test just to vote. They Screwed up my daily life fighting for some damn rights. They should have all just been locked and jailed.

    The same should be done for the protesters in Egypt. They are getting people killed and preventing business from conducting daily business. Some people lives have been runined because of these protest. They should take it and stop doing anything. Your only causing more problems by "protesting". Just sit down, shut up, and be happy your alive, no one cares that your being oppressed, and doing something about is just going to cost business money. So STOP IT

  10. 0
    tallimar says:

    but wasnt the attacks in response to companies’ caving to the government’s pressure?  the government’s attempts to bury proof of it’s gross abuse of power?

  11. 0
    captain_cthulhu says:

    hahaha, the FBI is funny. 40 people does not anonymous make.

    they just caught he dummies who didn’t spoof/bounce/anonymize/etc…

    the people who get caught doing this stuff are not the real criminals, they’re just script kiddies – the symptom, not the problem.

    these DDOS attacks will only become more sophisticated and harder to catch. this was a good test for anonymous. 40 sacrificial lambs is not much of a price to pay for more success in the future.

    I think it’s funny that the FBI thinks they can stop it. they can’t. ever. well, at least until they make the big internet kill switch like Leiberman wants and just turn the whole thing off. shows how little they understand. The war on Terror, The War on drugs, The War on Anonymous are all the same – you can’t defeat a concept or an ideal with these physical attacks. it’s a waste of their time and our money. work smarter, not harder!

  12. 0
    ZippyDSMlee says:

    I dunno DDOS attacks are legitimate posting, its a website not your home. so any analogy there is lost. Is it misused yes, was it misused in this instance no. Is the FBI being misused and government abusing its powers on this? Not really its a response to the cat being out of the bag and trying to put it back in. Tho I hope we do not return to the status qou pre wiki leak days.

    I have a dream, break the chains of copy right oppression! http://zippydsmlee.wordpress.com/2010/05/21/cigital-disobedience/

  13. 0
    BossMoney says:

    I find it hilarious that anyone can download a simple DDOS program and call themselves Anonymous.  the people caught up in this didn’t protect themselves the way Anonymous usually does, meaning they aren’t the Anonymous that we usually hear about.  My vote goes to bandwagon internet activists and students who had too much free time over Christmas, they think fighting the ‘good fight’ will make them cool or make a difference, but don’t know anything about fighting it.

  14. 0
    Neeneko says:

    It can be both.

    The raids are indeed having to do with people taking (or trying to) take down websites, but there is a larger context and debate about how justified the attacks were.  There is also the issue of disproportionate response… how often to a scattering of failed DDoS attacks that barely made a blip get this kind of government attention and resources?

    It is also interesting to compare this to the recent DHS shutdown of various websites, which could be viewed as both troubling and illegal, of which there was no consequences or raid even though it had more effect then the Anonymous DDoS, so we are seeing an example of ‘it is not about the effect, but who’s side people are on’.

  15. 0
    AnotherForumName says:

    It’s funny that some posters believe the DDoS attacks were justified and see the FBI raids as a way the government censors information. The raids have little to do with wikileaks and everything to do with persons who conspired together to take down websites.


  16. 0
    E. Zachary Knight says:

    Last I checked, knowingly participating in a DDoS attack was against the law. Since when is enforcing laws a bad thing? I know if I were running a site targetted by a DDoS, I would want those who disrupted my business and lost me money brought to justice.

    How would you feel if a large group of people blocked your access to your home or work and disrupted your life? Would you not want them brought to justice?

    E. Zachary Knight
    Oklahoma City Chapter of the ECA

    E. Zachary Knight
    Divine Knight Gaming
    Oklahoma Game Development
    Rusty Outlook
    Random Tower
    My Patreon

  17. 0
    kagirinai says:

     You’re thinking of the United NATIONS Anti-Terrorism Coalition. But really, the name doesn’t matter. The Banks and the Media own everything anyway.

  18. 0
    tallimar says:

    welcome to the United Socialists of America.  It’s only a matter of time till we have the United States Anti Terrorism COalition headquartered at the base of the liberty statue…

    (maybe ive been playing too many games lately)

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