Cyber attack planned for Bank of America 12 hrs and counting down

LOIC (Low orbit ion cannons) are loading with a firing time of 5:00 AM December 27 and the target, Bank of America. There appears to be some dissent, however, and talk of waiting for the anticipated ‘megaleak’ of incriminating information obtained from a BofA executive’s hard drive.

The DDoS attacks serve primarily to disrupt the targets operations for a period of time determined by how long the hive can sustain the attack and how many members are active in the hive. If the BofA attack is carried out, the most interesting part of the digital demonstration/protest will be as a test of numbers and duration.

Bank of America recently joined the growing list of companies attempting to choke off funding to Wikileaks and is also being sued for fraudulent loan practices.

Cyber warriors defending Wikileaks and internet freedom – Anonymous

Anonymous is in the news again for the digital sit ins they conducted against organizations trying to choke Wikileaks’ funding, as well as others perceived to be curtailing freedom of information. Not discussed in this piece by Al Jazeera, is the evolution of the campaign being conducted by Anonymous into Operation:Leakspin and the recently completed Operation:Paperstorm.

Leakspin is a call to the globe to read and publish the leaked cables, possibly covering critical revelations ignored by mainstream media. Paperstorm is a campaign to make people aware that the information is out there, that anyone can contribute to its uncovering and dissemination and still remain anonymous.
Net neutrality is already severely threatened when private companies can determine what we can view, who we provide money to and how and even kick us off the web for just the suspicion we may violate ‘terms of service’.

Cloud Journalism a call to arms Operation:Leakspin and the rising tide

Editors note: Recently, I was fortunate to speak with Anonymous, via Skype, about their recent DDoS attacks and the evolution from Operation:Payback to Operation:Leakspin. Neither Anonymous, Wikileaks, Cryptome or the press providing access to proof and prosecutable information can execute ‘subpoena power’, only the people can bring justice to bear on the crimes revealed.

An impassioned plea to powerful left wing voices, from Michael Moore to Katrina Vanden Heuvel, to influence protests of President Obama, including one this Thursday, December 16, in DC.

The election of Obama has not galvanized protest movements. To the contrary, it has depressed and undermined them, with the White House playing an active role in the discouragement and suppression of dissent – with disastrous consequences. The almost complete absence of protest from the left has emboldened the most right-wing elements inside and outside of the Obama administration to pursue and act on an ever more extreme agenda.

We are writing to you because you are well-known writers, bloggers and filmmakers with access to a range of old and new media, and you have in your power the capacity to help reignite the movement which brought millions onto the streets in February of 2003 but which has withered ever since. There are many thousands of progressives who follow your work closely and are waiting for a cue from you and others to act. We are asking you to commit yourself to actively supporting the protests of Obama administration policies which are now beginning to materialize.

The open letter is signed by such left wing dignitaries and main stream media critics as Daniel Ellsberg, Noam Chomsky and Rocky Anderson and details multiple failures of the Obama administration, many of which mirror those of George W Bush. The very need to write it is illustrative of how even left wing journalists, many of whom supported and promoted earlier protests against Bush, are taking the role of servile flatterers rather than clarions of truth. Why isn’t the ‘left establishment’ informing its readers of the upcoming protest?

Millions took to the streets of DC in 2003 and 2005 and were essentially ignored by the media. The significance of this action and why it may be harder for the media to ignore is that for the first time, in a long time, this protest is on a weekday. If enough people take to the streets, clog the metro, block traffic, interfere with pizza delivery to starving Congressional staffers and otherwise interrupt the flow of ‘business as usual’ on Capitol Hill, then surely the world and more importantly, our own nation, may see it in the news.  Where are the left wing voices now?

Operation:Payback, launched by ‘Anonymous’ sought to disrupt the flow of business as usual with a torrent of DDoS attacks aimed at entities interfering with the free flow of information on the internet. Anonymous arose out of Pirate Bay, a Swedish based site delivering music on bit torrent files, as an international anti-copyright or pro-piracy movement.

The persecution of Wikileaks and its founder, Julian Assange, collided with Anonymous’ freedom of information and net neutrality ideology. Anonymous has no membership list, they are anonymous even to each other, it has no organization rules, or code of conduct or leadership infrastructure but somehow it mobilizes and grows, within minutes or seconds, and takes action.

“When we see attempts to censor the internet, we censor back,” it was explained to me.

Anonymous flexed its collective muscle enabling almost “800 Wikileaks mirror sites in one day”, not only to protect and avenge the whistle blower but to prove the internet, free speech, is ungovernable.

Anonymous censored the companies and entities it viewed as responsible for interfering with net neutrality and launched an all out ‘cyber war’ that was breathtaking to watch. The commands were issued via IRC chatter and Twitter

During one attack notice was posted an hour in advance followed by periodic reminders and instructions…

and finally the order to “FIRE!, FIRE!, FIRE!”. Within two minutes of the attack on VISA, one member tweeted “And… is DOWN”. You could almost hear the roars and cheers, (maybe that was me cheering), but the collective power of individuals, (almost 10,000 were in the hive at one point), working in concert, if only for moments, was exhilarating. For Anonymous, it was just another way to demonstrate the internet will not be tamed or contained.

Nevertheless, in this particular battle for cyber freedom, Anonymous admitted it was only delivering a ‘blackeye’ and a new strategy was need. Enter, Operation:Leakspin.

Begin searching through Wikileaks. Find only the best, least exposed leaks you can get your hands on. Post summaries of them, along with the complete source. Encourage the reader to read more. Make one-to-two-minute YouTube videos reading the leaks. Use misleading tags, everything from “Tea Party” to “Bieber”. Post snippets of the leaks EVERYWHERE. News comments, fan forums, etc…

Anonymous was quick to advise me they are neither ‘hackers’ in the true sense of the word, nor activists out to change or save the world from evil. Nevertheless, Operation:Leakspin, an effort towards ‘cloud journalism’ or ‘crowd journalism’ if successful, will play a significant role in changing the world. At least changing media, re-imagining media/news and relying less and less on high profile writers and pundits and listening more and more to the ‘crowd’.

Anonymous’ marketing strategy is revealed in the notice above. In addition to twitter and social media, they suggest using ‘trending topics’ and popular news tags to bring readers to the leaked data. Hopefully, the approach will work and Leakspin will continue to gather support off the internet, although it may not have the same explosive cache as Payback. Payback is not dead, I am assured, DDoS is always a part of the arsenal but Leakspin has the potential to deliver more than a bloody nose but a full knockout punch.

Recently, “feral crowds” in England reclaimed the right to protest in Parliament Square amidst tuition hikes that may be forced by repressive practices of the IMF.

As a student of social engineering, the organic, anarchist nature of Anonymous and its ability to arrive at a decision and perform a task at a moments notice is a fascinating study.  Whether the lack of organizational structure will ultimately impair its ability to sustain a purposed operation like Leakspin remains to be seen but The Pirate Bay is proof Anonymous has prevailed before.

Anonymous may shirk the ‘activist’ moniker but there is no question it is part of a rising tide of dissent and a transformational change in media that will make the open letter above unnecessary.

Operation Payback changing tactics Operation Leakspin

As in any war, changes occur on the ground minute by minute. The ongoing cyber war is adapting to these changes and developing a strategy to focus on the cables and disseminating information to the digital world.

Operation Leakspin is now on Facebook and is mobilizing members to do much more than just disrupt the internet.

More on this group later.

Additional links are now becoming available.

Operation Linkspin
AnonOps History

Wikileaks, Operation Payback, free speech, secrecy and anarchy

Operation Payback may have suffered its first casualty today when a 16 year old was arrested by Dutch police. To avenge the ongoing persecution of Wikileaks and its founder, Julian Assange, Operation Payback emerged, seemingly out of the ether, but with roots in a ghostly cyber presence known as ‘Anonymous’.

Payback seems less an operation than a reactive swarm that merges into a hive and through some ad hoc process a ‘hive mind’ forms and a collective action is taken. So far, the actions have been in the form of DDoS (distributed denial of service) attacks on ‘targets’, Amazon, PayPal, MasterCard, VISA and others.

As far as I can tell there is no specific queen bee. The hive appears to be an ‘ad hoc-racy’ of anarchists and it is growing. Earlier a second site had to be setup to allow IRC (Internet Relay Chat) because the hive was more than 10,000 strong.

The rapid growth of Operation Payback, (when I first started watching three days ago the hive was numbered in hundreds), may be partially due to the reaction elsewhere in the world the US handling of Wikileaks. The NY Times reports that US hypocrisy is a big topic in Europe.

For Seumas Milne of The Guardian in London, which has shared the latest WikiLeaks trove with The New York Times, the official American reaction “is tipping over towards derangement.” Most of the leaks are of low-level diplomatic cables, he noted, while concluding: “Not much truck with freedom of information, then, in the land of the free.”

John Naughton, writing in the same British paper, decried the attack on the openness of the Internet and the pressure on companies like Amazon and eBay to evict the WikiLeaks site. “The response has been vicious, coordinated and potentially comprehensive,” he said, and presents a “delicious irony” that “it is now the so-called liberal democracies that are clamoring to shut WikiLeaks down.”

Or this shot from Vladimir Putin

“If it is full democracy, then why have they hidden Mr. Assange in prison? That’s what, democracy?” Mr. Putin asked.

“So, you know, as we say in the village, some people’s cows can moo, but yours should keep quiet. So I would like to shoot the puck back at our American colleagues,” he said.

Time, in a piece entitled ‘Why Wikileaks is Winning its Info War’, says of Assange’s detention in Britain, “…the principal effect of his arrest has been to rally the troops”.

US hypocrisy, from Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton’s ridicule of China, to PJ Crowley announcing the US will host the 2011 World Press Freedom Day, has mobilized a new information revolution.

Anonymous claims to be conducting a  “peaceful campaign…a digital sit-in is our most effective method to show that all of us deserve Freedom of Speech and a free Internet”. This is not an accurate metaphor, in part, because a traditional sit-in, aside from the ‘digital’ side of it, is that Anonymous is, well, anonymous.

Nor is it peaceful. Rather than chaining themselves to the White House fence or going on a hunger strike they are aggressively engaged in corporate bloodletting, hoping their targets will hemorrhage money until they accede to the demands of the hive. All I can say is, awesome!

Today, Operation Payback received some gentle push back when John Perry Barlow, co-founder of EFF, tweeted “#Anonymous & #Payback, you are a stunning force in the world, but still, you are better used to open than to close.” [see Wikileaks official statement here]

Barlow is right, of course, but at least Operation Payback is actively doing something. Assange sits in jail and the world is salaciously pouring over the Cablegate revelations but what is anyone doing with the information? If Bradley Manning is the source, what are we doing to make his sacrifice worthwhile?

All the analysts, journalists, intelligence officers, diplomats, constitutional lawyers and everyone else disturbed by what has been revealed these last few months… when are we going to act? When are we going to force a prosecution, or fire regulators, or court martial generals? When are we going to act?

We will never know the full impact the Weathermen had on the Vietnam War, or the Black Panthers on civil rights but it might be agreed they played their part in bringing about positive changes. Hopefully, Anonymous will be able to direct its energies into more than mischief but into targeted campaigns that help the rest of use the Wikileaks data for social justice and peace.

Until then, until the rest of us figure out how we will act, we have ‘Operation Payback’

Call to join "World Cyber War I" – fluid, mobilized, coordinated… anonymous

@Anon_Operation was ejected from Twitter and its website closed down only to be replaced by @AnonOp and, for the moment at least, OperationPayBack.

Like any war, the situation is fluid, changing and the ‘hactivist’ troops are everywhere and have proven themselves facile and nimble, able to re-mobilize with a few keystrokes also proving the Internet IS too big to be controlled.

This is an amazing thing to watch unfold. As a peace activist I oppose war but this is something else entirely and the only blood spilled so far is corporate blood and their blood only runs green.

UPDATE: @Anon_Operationn tweets “10609 users in irc, all together in this “protest””

Olbermann – Wikileaks, Operation Payback – The internet is too big to be controlled

James Moore, author of Bush’s Brain, discusses how the flow of information via the internet will not be policed by governments. The internet is too big now and too disparate for government suppression.

'Valid' credit card numbers released on internet part of Operation Payback

@Anon_Operation tweets link to thousands of potentially valid MasterCard numbers!
To people of the industrial world, dismiss your #Mastercard now!!! #ddos #payback Leaked Credit Cards

Cyber War takes new twist – Corporation against corporation

Icelandic IT firm, Datacell, to sue VISA Europe and MasterCard for ceasing payment processing for Wikileaks.

Icelandic IT company Datacell today said it will take legal action against Visa Europe and Mastercard in light of both companies decisions to cease processing payments associated with the WikiLeaks website.

Datacell said they will use legal mechanisms to try to force the card companies to resume accepting WikiLeaks payments immediately.

Datacell’s CEO Andreas Fink said that Visa should ‘just simply do their business where they are good at – transferring money’.

It is unclear what the ‘legal mechanisms’ are but the card processing giants may have breached their contractual obligations to Wikileaks.

Meanwhile, @Anon_Operation, a group claim responsibility for an unprecedented level of DDoS (distributed denial of service) attacks on the same companies that have started freezing funds and assets of Wikileaks, has also fallen victim to corporate interference. The group announced that Facebook removed its Operation Payback page for apparently “hateful, threatening or obscene” content.

Wikileaks is also reported to be considering legal action against PayPal for breach of contract according to a radio interview with Glenn Greenwald. Greenwald, a constitutional lawyer and staunch advocate for Wikileaks can be heard here.

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So the cyber battle will work its way through the courts now, pitting corporations against each other and tech savvy anarchists are likely to keep assaulting corporations and government sites for trodding on the free flow of information.

UPDATE: Greenwald is also on To The Point

UPDATE II: Twitter has now suspended @Anon_Operations with 22,173 followers. The group claimed to be considering targeting Twitter already, claiming Wikileaks taken off ‘trending’ topics. This may confirm the next two targets are Facebook and Twitter. Twitter is Wikileaks primary mode of communication, along with Facebook. Targeting these two companies may not serve the original purpose of ‘Operation Payback’

Ongoing coordinated 'hactivist' battle roaring to defend Wikileaks

A continued, ongoing DDoS assault is being orchestrated through a ‘hivemind’ to avenge Wikileaks. Targets include PostFinance, the Swiss Bank that froze Wikileaks accounts. PayPal is also a target for freezing funds and according to Twitter the Swedish prosecutor seen as persecuting Julian Assange and feared to be planning on turning him over to the US.

Last night there were approximately 300 members in the chat room discussing the ongoing effort. While the group as slowed PostFinance to a crawl or halt, it was generally believed more people would be necessary to successfully bring down PayPal.

PayPal is definitely slow to respond at this writing.
We appear to be watching, perhaps the first ever massive cyber battle for freedom of information taking on global superpowers ever. Will hundreds, thousands even millions of individuals scattered globally rally together for government transparency?

Already Wikileaks has almost 800 mirror sites around the world. This is exciting to watch

@Anon_Operation claims to be orchestrating the counter cyber-insurgency and posts a link to enable followers to join in.


HIVEMIND mode will connect your client to an IRC server so it can be controlled
remotely. Think of it like a voluntary botnet. They might even make your client
do naughty things, so beware.

Note: It does NOT allow remote administration of your machine, or anything
like that, it is just control of LOIC itself.

1. Download MS .NET Framework 3.5 and install it.
2. Download Hivemind LOIC and unzip it to your desktop.
3. Start LOIC with the LOIC.EXE
4. Server:
5. Channel: #loic
6. Select “hivemind mode”
7. Sit back and watch the show


JavaLOIC for MAC (no hivemind feature): Download

* Launch JavaLOIC
* Enter Target URL or IP and click LOCK ON
* join #setup on IRC for target info and settings (TCP and rest on defualt is usually best)
* see bottom of page on how to join the IRC

With HiveMind feature (Mono or Wine):

* Mono Guide
* Wine Guide

Install script for Debian/Ubuntu/Fedora:

* Server:
* Channel: #loic
* Select “hivemind mode”
* Sit back and watch the show

Go through the above steps 2-3 times if you can’t get it working.
If you still can’t fix it, join #Setup on IRC (type. /join #setup ) and ask.

To get on IRC: go to

* Server:

See for status on website and IRC servers.

new TWTR.Widget({
version: 2,
type: ‘search’,
search: ‘#DDoS’,
interval: 6000,
title: ‘Wikileaks Avengers’,
subject: ‘Hacktivists fight back’,
width: ‘auto’,
height: 300,
theme: {
shell: {
background: ‘#cbd98f’,
color: ‘#ffffff’
tweets: {
background: ‘#ffffff’,
color: ‘#444444’,
links: ‘#1985b5’
features: {
scrollbar: false,
loop: true,
live: true,
hashtags: true,
timestamp: true,
avatars: true,
toptweets: true,
behavior: ‘default’

Read the A Declaration of the Independence of Cyberspace