(update) Operation Paperstormtwitter.com #paperstorm
– Why this particular form of attack (DDoS)?
DDoS attacks are high-profile and require little technical knowledge to execute successfully. Once there is a sufficient number of clients in the “hive,” it’s relatively easy to overwhelm a vulnerable webserver. In this case, Anonymous did not target critical credit card processing infrastructure, instead opting to disrupt mainly corporate “brochure” websites. No lasting damage is done to the target servers, so the DDoS makes for an effective political demonstration.
– Does Anyonymous identify with Assange in any way or support Wikileaks’ actions?
Anonymous overwhelmingly supports the actions of WikiLeaks and its founder, Julian Assange. They believe that freedom of information is a fundamental right, and perceive the actions of the corporations and government as direct attacks on that freedom. There seems to be a common fear among members of Anonymous that the freedoms we enjoy online are slowly eroding. These fears were compounded when the various corporations chose to suspend their respective accounts with WikiLeaks.
– (Related) your thoughts on more openness in government, and government itself
While I understand that the protection of top-secret information is a matter of national security, I believe the government could stand to become more transparent in most areas of daily activity. The people of the United States have a right to know what is happening in their name.
– Is this an attack on institutions that are identifiable as authoritarian and monetary? I.e. were they attacked for being that way?
The various institutions were targeted because they chose independently to terminate their relationships with WikiLeaks. Their willingness to comply with US pressures ultimately creates a system of privatized censorship in which the government doesn’t need to lift a finger. Anonymous has begun attacking these institutions in what is essentially an invocation of the “golden rule”: what goes around comes around.
– What do you want ideally for the results of this action to be?
I don’t personally support the DDoS attacks, although they have certainly served their purpose (mainstream media coverage). I think Anonymous has the potential to become a truly significant movement for freedom if they continue to focus their efforts on peaceful protests and creative information campaigns. Ideally, Anonymous would cease the DDoS attacks and cultivate a more publicly accessible voice.
– What is your role in this? Merely reporting or involved with Anonymous?
I am not a member of Anonymous, nor have I taken part in the DDoS attacks. My role is limited to reporting on what I see happening in their IRC networks, among other websites and forums. I am a hacker and a Web developer so I am naturally familiar with the tools and techniques members of Anonymous have employed during the past several months. I fully support WikiLeaks and so I took a personal interest in these events as Anonymous Reporter.
– Addressing that you do not support the DDOS attacks, how are you involved?
I frequently take part in discussions with Anonymous members so I can report accurately from within the organization. My only intention is to provide the same transparency they so vocally advocate.
– The hive structure: is it purely for effectively coordinating attacks, or does it also have some other considerations e.g. based on polical philosophy?
The hive server is intended to coordinate DDoS attacks so as to maximize their effect. Each DDoS client connects to the hive server, which monitors the hive’s size and remotely coordinates attacks. Using the hive server ensures that everyone is firing at the same target at the same time. The hive server is frequently offline, so attacks must often be targeted manually.
– Any actual anti-government sentiment in all of the attacks, or is everyone for governmental transparency only?
While there have been a few calls for attacks on government websites (Senator Leiberman’s site was attacked), the vast majority of Anonymous members don’t seem to harbor anti-government or even anti-corporate sentiments. Attack targets are chosen democratically, and nearly all communication takes place in public channels. As far as transparency goes, they seem to actually practice what they preach.
– Would Anyonymous ever advocate actual attacks on servers and services beyond corporate brochure websites?
I haven’t seen any advocation for violence or disruption of real-world services. They specifically left credit card processing infrastructure alone in order to minimize disruption of third-party services. In fact, most discussions regarding action in the real world (they call it “going analog”) tended to advocate peaceful campaigning strategies.
“During times of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act.”
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