The amorphous Anonymous hacktivist group has set its sights on some of the biggest names in technology due to these companies and organizations’ support for CISPA, the Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act, which gives government agencies and private security firms broad authority over telecommunications networks in the United States. Supporters of the controversial bill, which many have compared to SOPA, claim that it increases the security of US communications networks, fortifies these networks against cyber attacks, and helps guard against copyright and other intellectual property theft.
As part of an ongoing campaign, which is referred to as Operation Defense (or #OpDefense on Twitter), Anons attempt to bring down these corporate websites in protest through distributed denial of service (DDOS) attacks, which work by flooding web servers with page requests and subsequently overwhelming them.
Operation Defense is a multiphase campaign by Anonymous. The video’s narrator claims:
Phase I of Operation Defense is running smoothly. We’ve managed to disable most of our targets. Our targets include any corporation involved in the support of the Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act and those who were responsible in creating it.
As a part of Phase 1, Members of Anonymous have successfully brought down parts of the Boeing website, among others. Boeing was likely targeted for its information security services provided by wholly owned subsidiaries like Narus, a provider of realtime network monitoring services. According to a recent article posted on Wired‘s Threat Level blog by James Bamford, NSA-secured top-secret wiretapping rooms like AT&T’s 641A in major telecoms companies are powered by Narus software.
Members of Anonymous claim that these companies and some 28 others are complicit in government surveillance. The video posted above concludes with details of Phase 2 of Operation Defense, which will include actions beyond distributed denial of service attacks. The organization is planning rallies and protests outside the corporate headquarters of CISPA backers.
We will be sure to keep you updated about all things CISPA. The bill goes up for vote in two weeks.