Report: Anonymous Promises to ‘Shut Down the Internet’ March 31

A new message posted on Pastebin and attributed to the hacking group Anonymous promises to shut down the entire internet on March 31. The group says that it will target the 13 root DNS servers that make up the bulk of the servers that give URL names to most of the Internet.

As to why they would want to do this, they say the following:

"'The greatest enemy of freedom is a happy slave.' To protest SOPA, Wallstreet, our irresponsible leaders and the beloved bankers who are starving the world for their own selfish needs out of sheer sadistic fun, On March 31, anonymous will shut the Internet down."

The rather lengthy post on Pastebin details just how they intend to do all of this. The threat comes off as an open challenge to those companies and organizations that are responsible for the security of these name servers and the people in charge of fighting cyber crime.

They go on to explain how this will affect the average Internet user:

"By cutting these off the Internet, nobody will be able to perform a domain name look-up, thus, disabling the HTTP Internet, which is, after all, the most widely used function of the Web. Anybody entering '' or ANY other url, will get an error page, thus, they will think the Internet is down, which is, close enough."

"Remember, this is a protest, we are not trying to 'kill' the Internet, we are only temporarily shutting it down where it hurts the most. While some ISPs uses DNS caching, most are configured to use a low expire time for the cache, thus not being a valid failover solution in the case the root servers are down. It is mostly used for speed, not redundancy."

The group closes by saying that, even though the Internet will "feel like" it is down, they will be able to continue their attack for as long as they like:

"Since the attack will be using static IP addresses, it will not rely on name server resolution, thus enabling us to keep the attack up even while the Internet is down. The very fact that nobody will be able to make new requests to use the Internet will slow down those who will try to stop the attack. It may only lasts one hour, maybe more, maybe even a few days. No matter what, it will be global. It will be known."

So if your Internet connection seems broken on March 31, you know who is responsible. Consider this an early public service message.

Source: TechRadar

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  1. DorthLous says:

    "They" didn't threaten to take down the internet. Some clown did, using the name of Anonymous and was publicly disavowed by what can be construed as the closest thing to an official voice from Anonymous there is. It's like someone saying they are from Sony and that they are going to hack XBOX accounts. Would you believe them? Especially if Sony disavows them? No? Well it's the same. As for Sony, whether wrong headed or not, Anonymous was reacting to a move they considered anti-free speech at the time, something that has always been a part of their agenda.

  2. hellfire7885 says:

    Well they weren't, turns out my router needed to be power cycled.


    And how is threatening to shut down the internet in it's entirety going to help, at all?

    And I don't get how their little stunt regarding PSN a few months back was to help either.

    And I don't mean the outage, I mean threatening to take it back down.

  3. GoodRobotUs says:

    Heh, as I said before, suspiciously close to April 1st…

    Someone is laughing their butt off around now 😉

  4. Hevach says:

    From Anon's twitter: "For the billionth time: #Anonymous will not shut down the Internet on 31 March," wrote @YourAnonNews in a Twitter post on Thursday. "#OpGlobalBlackout is just another #OpFacebookfailop. #yawn."

    It's not entirely clear whether the threat was a hoax to begin with, wasn't actually from Anonymous or for that matter anyone with real hacking knowledge, or just failed and has been disavowed (I'd lean towards hoax or dumb). But either way, the internet is safe for another day.

    According to insiders, the DNS system is operating inside of normal parameters. They also point out that a successful attack wouldn't have the result the threat claims. Because there are a great many DNS caches and most requests don't actually go through the root nodes, the system wouldn't simply shut down, but would become increasingly unreliable and unpredictable. Aside from new or relocated domains few problems would be expected even if the attack were sustained successfully for several days.

    Lastly, there are a few explanations on the internet explaining exactly how the DNS system is built to withstand the shock of a massive DDoS attack and is already protected against an attack like the one described by Blackout to trick them into DDoSing each other. Errata Security gave a good 6 point rundown.

  5. Dan says:

    Only peep I've heard from them is 1-star votebombing random articles on Equestria Daily. (Today's episode was pretty cute. But then, the Cutie Mark Crusaders always are.)

  6. DorthLous says:

    Bwhehe. Although, to be fair, 1: there's time left and 2: it wouldn't propagate very fast. Still, lol…

  7. DorthLous says:

    "I really hope you aren't a propaganda agent.

    If you are, you have proven my point that the government is attempting to use the shadow of Anonymous to scare people and pass laws."

    Your comment is nothing but noise made to besmirched what you perceive as being an opposite point of view to yours. Perhaps you hope some people will misread your post and spread rumors or maybe you just want to seed doubt. Either way, it is still noise and I'm pointing it out because I don't want someone to inadvertently fall in the trap…


    a) Anonymous is not an homogenous group

    b) They more or less stick to attacking targets that prevents or are linked to prevention of free speech

    c) No unofficial word has come out that they in any way were targeting WoW

    d) That even if someone was indeed harming the servers in a way as to cause this issue, they could still not claim the mantle of Anonymous BECAUSE they would likely not have the backing of the chaotic majority of the group (which most likely contains a good number of WoW player, if we believe the spiels on this thread that they are all kids with nothing to do…)

    Then we can assume that, unless presented with contradicting evidence, the "Anonymous is the cause of WoW poor connection" is not a worthy probability to check. Hence, your attack was pure libel (no matter if the group is a legal organization or not, your act in itself is still libel.)

  8. hellfire7885 says:

    I never accused them of doing it, I just said I hope they aren't the ones doing it.


    Jumping the gun much?

  9. Draque says:

    First off: DNS servers != the Internet

    Second off: Domains must propagate. Most people would never notice anything, even if the plan worked.

    Third off: The only times that there have ever been successful hacks by Anonymous have been when they were unannounced. All announced “hacks” have just been DDOS attacks, which have no chance of taking down all 13 servers.

  10. Neeneko says:

    There is a scary thought, but I don't think it works… PETA is a well funded social club built aroudn sex and power… Anonymous, if slashdot is to be believed, well… isn't.

  11. hellfire7885 says:

    I really hope they aren't behind World of Warcraft acting up so much lately.


    If they are, they have proven my point that they would only be hurting consumers.

  12. Mr.Tastix says:

    "And besides all of that: It's just people fucking around on the internet, guys. Don't take it so damn seriously."

    This makes you look hypocritical, frankly. How can you tell GP not to take their articles seriously when you're posting a rather serious-looking response to the article in question?

    I think GP, and a lot of its readers, understand that Anonymous has no leaders and is not one big self-efficient unit, it's simply a "group" with members who like to hack websites for attention and members who actually do have the right ideas in mind. Yes, the latter exists because that's how being anonymous works.

    You can't have Order without Chaos.

    People say "Anonymous is making threats" or what-not because the person making the threats is stating they're anonymous. Saying "some random guy" doesn't have very much effect, it's not very entertaining. Which, by the way, is what blog sites and any type of news is supposed to be, they're not designed to inform or educate you with the whole truth, they're designed to make money and entertain you, even if that requires a little bit of lawful misdirection.

  13. Kal says:

    This site runs stories on Anonymous far too often. Seems to me like the easiest "go to" story now that Jacko's retired.


    I'll say it again: Anonymous has no leaders, anyone claiming to be such is thinking too highly of themselves, and anyone pegged as such by someone else is being unfairly singled out. Nobody speaks for the entire group, and unless there's a really visible movement to get something done, anyone claiming to do something such as this in the name of the entire group is hiding behind the name to seem more legitimate.


    And besides all of that: It's just people fucking around on the internet, guys. Don't take it so damn seriously.

  14. DorthLous says:

    While anyone can claim membership, anyone doing so in a way as to let their identity be known can't be since one of the few requirements to be part of Anonymous is to stay unknown. Furthermore, while you can use their mantel to claim actions, the group has steadily walked a more or less straight line since its inception, which mean that if you deviate too much, no one else will recognize you or your actions as part of Anonymous (ok, maybe the media and politicians, but I'm saying no one with half a brain…)

  15. Papa Midnight says:

    In all fairness, as far as the group mindset is concerned, EVERYONE is Anonymous. This leads me to question, just who created this? A cabal within Anonymous? Someone with a bit to much time on their hands? Last I checked, the group had no specific hierarchy by design. Anyone who wants to claim the title of "Anonymous" is free to do so. Basically, what I'm asking is was there any verification of this because, frankly speaking, Andrew Eisen could very well be correct that it is just some lone individual seeking notoriety.

  16. Austin from Oregon says:

    Pretty much, fact is most of us don't care about them anymore. I used to think they acted as a group fighting against the man. But once again they show us that they don't care who the target is.

    Of course, we'll feed the troll (as I am right now…rats), and they'll probably take it back the day of.

    10 bucks says this doesn't happen.

  17. Andrew Eisen says:

    Protest, my ass.  You're looking for attention and notoriety.  You ain't fooling anybody.


    Andrew Eisen

  18. Left4Dead says:

    Anyone with half a brain and even rudimentary knowledge of DNS will understand how infeasible this poorly thought out plan is.  The last time someone tried this with a serious attack, they "took down" only four of the Root DNS nodes.  The affected servers, at the time, were still being upgraded to be anycast-capable.  None of the nodes actually went down but two of them had serious problems.  Now all 13 nodes are anycast-capable and will load-balance among the other nodes under load.  Each "node" consists of multiple data centers scattered across the globe each with huge trunk lines and most nodes are of the underground bunker variety (i.e. capable of withstanding physical missile attacks).  Plus various governments are quite ready to drop physical bombs of appropriate size on anyone stupid enough to actually take out the Internet.

    I probably won't need the Internet this weekend anyway.  Even if it does go down, I'll just go outside and play some games with some folks.

    -- Left4Dead --

  19. ecco6t9 says:

    Again I say they need to go after real countries with real human rights issues.

    Iran,North Korea,Venezuela,Cuba,China.

  20. Truec says:

    They are when your quote-unquote protest inconveniences the very people you claim to be protesting in the name of, failing to achieve your stated goals.

  21. State says:

    They won't be hurting anyone, it won't work.

    These kids have been playing fantasy games for far too long, believing that they have "great power". They've just picked a few names out of the hat of the currently most hated groups of people to justify this soon to be failure (if they even attempt this).

  22. hellfire7885 says:

    Guess what children, you will not be hurting your intended targets, you will only be hurting the average users.

    Just like when you threatened to shut PSN down, the only people to be hurt would have been legitimate users, because Sony makes money by other means.

Comments are closed.