It seems the hateful geeks are out in force again. Having momentarily shifted their attention from targeting American and British music companies, because they believe copyright to be an outdated concept, they have now set their army of PCs against the websites of Swiss bank PostFinance and PayPal.
It seems no organisation is safe from this army of nerds, regardless of the actual reasoning behind the decisions they disagree with.
PostFinance closed Wikileaks founder Julian Assange’s bank account because he provided false residency information when he opened it.
Yet, the DDOS (distributed denial of service) brigade see this as an affront on freedom of speech, and react in the only way they know how. Attempting to take down the web sites of large institutions by overloading their web servers.
It’s worked with PostFinance, meaning thousands if not millions of innocent customers now cannot access their accounts online, nor find out about the bank’s services.
It doesn’t appear to have worked (yet) with PayPal, though the site is responding rather slowly. Taking that down will hurt millions of people, both individuals and businesses, who rely on the payment service for sending and receiving money.
Yet the people behind “Anon Operation” and other groups who organise and sanction these attacks have little regard for anyone but themselves and the one misguided cause they currently champion.
It’s why governments and big businesses alike must continue to find ways of fighting mass attacks on our Internet infrastructure. Given how easy it is for otherwise benign individuals to club together to sport online anarchy, just think how bad a cyberattack from a rogue state or terrorist organisation would be.
Regardless of what you think of the current Wikileaks situation, taking down large chunks of the Internet is not the answer.