WikiLeaks certainly has powerful cyber-supporters.
Just one day after the LulzSec hacking group announced its retirement after a 50-day stint, it appears that hackers with the Anonymous group have picked up from where they left off by attacking the MasterCard website in protest of the WikiLeaks blockade.
Earlier today, Twitter user @ibomhacktivist tweeted a message saying that MasterCard.com was down. The hacker said “that’s what you get when you mess with @wikileaks and @Anon_Central.”
The hacking group LulzSec disbanded yesterday, but members of the group melded back into Anonymous. Anonymous vowed to pick up from where LulzSec left off, and it’s clear that they were serious about that. Anonymous conducted a distribute denial-of-service (DDOS) attack on MasterCard, which often involves a very large quantity of worthless traffic being sent to the website to knock it offline.
WikiLeaks tweeted four hours ago that the “unlawful banking blockade” against the organization in the past six months includes Visa, MasterCard, PayPal, Bank of America, and Western Union. WikiLeaks recently posted a faux-MasterCard commercial featuring WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange. The commercial aims to inform the viewer of the financial blockade from the above companies that forbid customers to donate money to WikiLeaks. WikiLeaks say that the blockade has kept them from fund raising and has cost them $15 million in lost revenue.
MasterCard.com is currently back up, but there are reports that the site was offline for two hours due to the attack. This is the second time Anonymous hackers have taken down MasterCard in the past six months. In December 2010, hackers attacked the MasterCard website for the same reason, and also took down Postfinance and PayPal.