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Yesterday was a rare day when it comes to news connected to The Pirate Bay. Worn out and disillusioned by almost relentless news coverage of anti-piracy actions against the world’s most famous torrent site, Pirate Bay fans worldwide had a news story to celebrate – and not only celebrate but become a part of too, and get a little bit of payback in the process.Led by the users of the 4chan message boards, a coordinated and massive DDoS attack Friday and Saturday took down the websites of both the MPAA and the anti-BitTorrent AiPlex Software.As word spread of the attacks, sympathizers who had never even been on 4chan joined the attacks, simply by loading up their Low Orbit Ion Cannons (LOIC) and following some very simple instructions.According to a flyer being distributed around the net, ‘Operation Payback‘ will now spread to another popular hate figure’s website. At 3pm Eastern today a new DDoS attack will be launched against the RIAA, but they won’t be the only targets. New information suggests that at the same time an attack will also be launched against the UK’s BPI.Counter provided by the ‘attackers’Protesting in large numbers against unpopular entities and activities is nothing new but has traditionally required participants to physically travel to various locations. In the Internet age, however, anyone can travel anywhere in the world to be ‘present’ at any location and make a nuisance of themselves with just the click of a mouse.With some loose coordination through a community like 4chan, or indeed via like-minded individuals in any other Internet-based community, large amounts of attention can be brought to a cause. So can this type of action gain traction? Well, if nothing else, it certainly can’t be stopped, which raises some interesting points.
After all-out assaults on the web presences of the MPAA, RIAA and later the BPI, last night a new company was targeted in a new 4chan DDoS attack. Anti-piracy lawyers ACS:Law, one of the most despised and complained about law firms in Britain, had their website taken offline last night and it remains down “Account Suspended” this morning. TorrentFreak has spoken to one of the key figures in Operation Payback for the lowdown.
Following on from other DDoS attacks in recent days, yesterday another wave took down the website of AFACT, the Australian Federation Against Copyright Theft. This latest assault, carried out in the name of Operation Payback, also had some very serious unintended side-effects. According to AFACT host Negregistry, other sites it hosts were affected too. AFACT said those sites, some belonging to the government, numbered nearly 8,000.
After nearly two weeks of DDoS attacks on various anti-piracy law firms and organizations such as the RIAA and MPAA, Operation Payback is still ongoing. In a possibly connected event, a few hours ago the office of the law firm Dunlap, Grubb & Weaver was evacuated by the police after a bomb threat was received. The firm is responsible for suing thousands of BitTorrent users in the United States in recent months.
Undeterred by the online destruction of ACS:Law, UK lawyers Gallant Macmillan will head off to the High Court on Monday to demand the identities of hundreds more people they claim have been detected sharing files online. While the ISP that holds the identities says it will resist the demand and ask for the hearing to be adjourned, the judge and jury of Operation Payback will pass down their verdict tomorrow, sentencing Gallant Macmillan to a DDoS attack.
Today, lawyers Gallant Macmillan will attend the High Court in London in an attempt to persuade a senior judge to order the handover of hundreds more identities of people accused of file-sharing. To mark this occasion, Operation Payback decided to hit the London law firm but after they tried to nullify the planned DDoS attack, Anonymous hit their client instead. Many hours later, Ministry of Sound is still out of business online.
Anonymous has picked their latest target; the Sociedad General de Autores y Editores (SGAE). At 6PM EST tonight, a new round of DDoS attacks will be launched against SGAE.es - the main royalty collecting agency and pro-copyright organization in Spain. SGAE is one of many such organizations, such as the MPAA, RIAA, DGLegal, ACS:Law, Gallant Macmillan, and Ministry of Sound, to have their website targeted by Anonymous.
Anonymous has struck again - this time hitting Italy. The websites of FIMI (Federazione Industria Musicale Italiana), the Italian IFPI (International Federation of the Phonographic Industry), and the Pro-music.it. Italy has been a hot bed of P2P controversy, especially after The Pirate Bay was blocked for the second time in February this year. These pro-industry organizations were instrumental in this, lending their support to the effort. FIMI was especially involved, being the organization that initiated the lawsuit which was eventually successful.