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back to article Anonymous hacktivists fire ion cannons at Zimbabwe

Pro-WikiLeaks hacktivists have launched a denial of service attack against government websites in Zimbabwe. Websites belonging to the Zimbabwe government and Robert Mugabe's ZANU-PF party were blitzed by junk traffic during the latest phase of the Operation Avenge Assange campaign by the anarchic Anonymous collective. The …

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FAIL

Pointless anonymity

"However attacking Zimbabwe government websites is extremely unlikely to have any practical effect on the regime."

Surely attacking any website is extremely unlikely to have any practical effect on anything. Ever.

Except perhaps the egos of all the 12 year olds playing at 'cyber wars'.

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Amazon

Or Ebay, Asda, Tescos, share trading sites, online banking, online credit card processing etc etc. Theres lots of sites that need to be up and running. Its a long time since the internet was nothing more than infomation and adverts.

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Grenade

Really?

Tell that to, say, Amazon, or PayPal, or...well, any web based business. Tell that to a bank that doesn't want to lose their online customer services. Etc.

Businesses have already coughed up millions in suspected greenmail payments to avoid DDoS attacks. I expect the trend to continue...and now that we see botnets that can be hosted on Android handsets and the like (possibly embedded devices soon), the eradication will be even harder. I suspect that it will get more interesting before it gets better...

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@Paul 4

Most sites that need to be "up and running" already have measures in place to shrug off DDOS attacks. They might suffer minor disruption while failovers kick in and that's about at all. If that. Anonymous is probably going for softer and more reviled targets to save face after it's dismal attempts to attack Amazon and other sites.

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FAIL

@Robert Hill, MASSIVE FAIL

You claim that businesses have coughed up "millions" in greenmail to avoid DDoS attacks???

In what universe do you think that happened? Are you playing make-believe? Are you engaging in wishful thinking? Are you childishly hoping that if you pretend it's happened, that others will shiver in fear at your wishful bullsh*t thinking?

Are you fantasizing that these attacks have had any effect except the opposite of what they intended? Take a look - in the USA, the FCC has taken the first baby-step to reduce freedom of the internet by using these Wikileaks attacks as an excuse. Other countries are already following suit.

It's like I wrote here when this first started - the people responsible for these attacks are achieving the opposite of what they set out to do. Of course, they never really had any intended result in the first place. There's no nobility in these attacks, more like bratty snots that like seeing their involvement written about in the news.

MasterCard is fine, Visa is happy, PayPal still pays, the Wikileaks website is blocked in many nations, and Assange can never go back to the life he had.

You know, it seems that the Art of Rebelling Against Authority is forever lost. Just like Assange, when Operation Revenge isn't shooting themselves in the foot, they are injuring the innocent.

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Aw those poor mega-corporations

They have had to spend millions to counter DDoS attacks? Show me the study that shows this. If you can't then you are simply blowing smoke.

Why should the people care about the poor corporations when they don't care one jot about the people, other than whether we love or hate Marmite?

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Paris Hilton

Greenmail

I work in the industry and I've never seen it.

Much cheaper to have 400x more bandwidth/server capacity you need and watch the graphs hit 400, 500Gbit/sec and laugh at how much spare capacity you have. And this [500Gbit] is bandwidth these kids could never atain, I'm talking about people who know what they're doing.

They should feel free to attack like, I don't know, Iranian government server because they may actually have some success.

These kids think that because they had a little success with scientology that everybody else doesn't do capacity planning and serious DDoS mitigation, and that they'll get away with it scott-free, which most will; but ask Dmitriy Guzner how well that worked out for him.

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FAIL

Re: Amazon

Funny how Assange has his foot in the world of internet commerce - publicity for his biog, the proposed pay wall - and his little boi followers make silly claims about 'Greenmail' (it must be good, it's Greenmail!!!!!).

This kind of snotty brat bravo sierra won't wear. What will happen is that people who've signed up to the LOIC will find themselves in court. It has begun, it is not over, you are not anonymous, you cannot hide, BANG.

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Anonymous Coward

@Melvin Meatballs

Apart from the ensuing media coverage highlighting what would otherwise have gone un-noticed by many in the West of course.

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Heart

What Else Can We Do?

We are poor do to financial mismanagement, we couldn't get into good schools because tuition rates are so high, after we're out of school there are no job prospects and massive debt, the defining moments of our lives are 911, the wars in the middle east, and the recession.

We are doing all we can for some thing we believe in. Screw you dude. Sit safe on your sofa and fault us. At least were trying to do some thing we believe in with the limited resources we have.

Do you understand? This isn't the word we wanted for our selves, its the world our parents and grandparents created for us. It's a old dilapidated house that the elder generations are about to move out of. But we have to live in it and its up to us to fix it. Because we've seen that our governments, or churches, or companies won't.

While I was signing up for an account just to make this post I noticed a question "How many employees do you have under you?" I don't have any employees, I am very poor. I can't afford to go to the dentist to get the cavities I have fixed, I can barely feed my self. Not because I don't work hard, I work 40 hours a week. Yet you have the audacity to say we are little children playing at cyber war.

Many of us are children, and the rest are just out of childhood. Even through the blinds of youth, or perhaps because of them, we see that the world is not right and we are trying to help.

What have you done?

Do you even know that the world is messed up or are you lost in a bourgeois fantasy world?

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Well

you had me up until bourgeoisie, man. there arent any left; the last time we had them were in the capitalist martini boom phase of the mid 80's. All thats left is just the people content to live in indentured servitude to a job to pay My Lord Mastercard and the half-a-million Mortgage on a brick box they bought to live near the place where they sell their lives for ration-chips to pay VISA et al, and the Serfs that My Lord Mastercard and Visa refuse to service, and then there's the 1% that doesnt give a fuck about any of this.

I'll tell you one thing though, at least you're not blind to it. Melvin seems to cling to this weird cool-appraisal-of-activism viewpoint I see spreading out from the mortgage and indentured crowd like some braying, Zoloft-induced herd mentality. The people I'd expect to be the most angry, the people with the mot right to be angry, are for some insane reason the people who shit on the emotional backlash to things like short-selling and toxic-debt trade as a 'childish' response.

/all hands for those without the ability to grasp how fucked the west is right now.

//seriously : we're balls deep in debt, but we outsource our work to china who then lends us money to buy our own goods from them. How is this a clever system?

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Anonymous Coward

Reply to post: What Else Can We Do?

Thirty years ago I and a lot of the people I knew felt the same, there was a lot of anger and frustration across the UK. Thatcher government, Cold War, Falklands, Poll Tax, Miners Strikes, massive unemployment, recession, corruption on a political and business level . Does this sound familiar? This was not the world I wished to inherit, but it was the world that I and my peers ended up with.

I do not wish to belittle your obvious frustrations and angers but these DDOS attacks and defacements are unlikely to change the world in the manner that you wish. They can be defended against and the effects mitigated and at worst they are a minor annoyance to those that are on the receiving end. Business continues as usual once the storm has been weathered. If you read around on various sites that tend to be of a technical bent, ie theregister and slashdot the overwhelming impression you will get is that of people stating that these attacks are wrong, but the motivations are perhaps not and a general air of popcorn being opened.

A far better approach is that of political organisation, if those that are involved in this process , write letters to their political representative, senator, MP whatever, and bombard them with proper mail that has to be dealt with, it will get more serious attention if the quantity they receive deserves it. A paper DDOS if you wish. Failing that organise a proper demonstration/rally and march on/to the nations symbolic political centre. If you have enough people then you maybe taken seriously, at the moment you may possibly be perceived as a small group of script-kiddies in their parent's basement who are safely ignored after the event and are easily swayed by those who use criminal/dishonest means to achieve their ends.

I will note, however that historically, major change especially political is often only achieved by violent means. The current DDOS attacks rate as a playground scuffle and are likely to achieve little other than becoming a minor footnote.

Anyway, is that someone at your door? Yes, the gentleman wearing the cap with FBI on it. Perhaps he would like to speak to you about the recent cyber-warring you have been involved in.

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Go

Awww, there, there Barry

Get over it.

Get on with it.

Do what we've all done in the past.

Hard work.

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FAIL

@ We are doing all we can for some thing we believe in

Like generations before you, you're just another pawn, following the directions of others in the misguided belief that you're 'trying to make a difference'. It would be amusing, if it wasn't such an old and worn cliche. It would be of importance if you were the first to rebel, or if your rebellion held some kind of meaning for the world, but you're not and it doesn't. Do you really believe that these stolen American diplomatic cables contain anything that will change the world ? If you do you should seriously reconsider your world view. The only really surprising thing is that the Americans haven't released them all in advance, but then I don't suppose they know exactly what ones are in your stolen archive.

We'd all like the world to be fairer, we'd all like life to be fairer, it isn't though. There's nothing you or your little group can do to change that, there's nothing anyone can do to change it. Just as there was nothing all those who rebelled before you could do to change it. Life isn't fair. It isn't fair because of people. Neither you or anyone else can force people to act and live in a manner that is fair to all others, and so life can never be fair, and if you consider it carefully you'll see for yourself, that simply because you cannot force others to live according to your belief in what is or isn't fair, life cannot even be fairer. At least not according to what you would consider to be fairer.

You should try just living your life and being happy within it. It's only going to be about 80 years long (if you're lucky), you've already used up (at a guess) about a quarter of it. Stop wasting your time on pointless meaningless attempts to change the world by rebelling against what it is, which will have no more impact than all of those failed attempts that came before you.

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FAIL

RE: What Else Can We Do?

I see that you're trying to push your profile by turning to attacking a widely-despised family of despots, probably in an attempt to undo the damage done to your group's image. But I have to ask why is it only now, only when Grace Mugabe opposes the Word of the Cult of Assange, that you see fit to act? All this blather about how terrible the Mugabes are, but I didn't see any Anon attacks for the years in which Mugabe ruled over and oppressed Zimbabwe (alledgedly - got to get that in to keep Ms Bee happy). In short, all I see is another knee-jerk reaction (to bad press), dressed up as moral outrage.

"We are poor do to financial mismanagement..." Who's? I see people doing very well both before and after the recession because they got of their arses and worked at it. A lot of them are doing far better than me because they made better choices, smarter decisions and worked harder, but I don't throw up my hands and whinge about it being "unfair". This whole concept of "fairness" is just a sop to those without the cahones to make a go of it. It's so much easier to live with your own failure when you can blame it on "the system", or "rich bankers", right?

"....we couldn't get into good schools because tuition rates are so high...." I think we'll file that under "it's not my fault I'm a failure, everything was so stacked against me I didn't bother trying!" Hate to repeat myself, but one of the most successful traders I know started up in one of the poorest areas of the UK, in a family that was completely dependent on State handouts. He only went to local schools, worked hard, went to Uni on a grant and worked two jobs whilst there to pay his way. I have the deepest respect for him as no-one made it easy for him, but he made himself very wealthy. It would seem he simply has more moral fibre than yourself. It would also seem that you can afford internet connectivity and plenty of time jerking around with other kiddiots, so I'd have to say the lack of success in your life is due (not "do") to your own actions and choices.

"....Screw you dude...." My simple reply is grow up and get a clue, dude.

"....At least were trying to do some thing we believe in...." Excellent! Did you stop to think there are probably a dozen more effective and legal ways to protest what you see as the wrongs of society? Your mate Heff moans about people not bothering to sign petitions or write letters, but have you written to your own politicians about Zimbabwe? Did you think to spend the time doing stupid and illegal skiddie tricks instead doing volunteer IT work for any of the charitable organistaions trying to help the people of Zimbabwe (you could start at the NANGO site www.nango.org.zw)? I bet not - far more fun to play with the other kiddiots and pretend at great moral superiority, rather than get down and do somehting real, right?

".....are you lost in a bourgeois fantasy world...." And back to the usual anarchist rubbish. Don't tell me, we can right all the World's ills with a little redistribution of the wealth, right? So, what happens when you set everything back to zero and everyone has exactly the same money, housing, eductaion, etc? Simple - that harder-working, smarter and often just more determined people will be richer and more successful within a generation, there will be a new class of "bourgousie", more likley than not from the same old one that were more successful before your grand reset. Face it - whilst we cling to ideas like we're all equal under the law, we're all genetically different and, just as some people are better atheletes, some people are just going to be more successful. That's not elitism, that's simple Darwinism.

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@Matt

I really don't think I could have expressed it so clearly, succinctly and accurately.

I take my hat off to you.

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Happy

RE: @Matt

Thanks, Ted, but the majority of the credit goes to my excellent scriptwriter, the distinguished Mr Smirnoff. Happy New Year one and all.

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Boffin

newsflash

it embarrasses the regime and brings that embarrassment to the attention of the ADD-riddled western hemisphere, which only seems to give a shit about the hidebound atrocity of Zimbabwe when there's a slow news day.

so no, in and of itself, all it does is fuck up a website. but your assessment is like "why bother signing petitions? all it does is put your name on a piece of paper" or "why bother writing an MP? all it does is put a letter on someones desk" taken to its logical extreme you may as well ask "whats the point in voting when your vote is only as valid as the next idiot?" the yarrow hunger marches were just a long walk by some skinny dudes. the guy who stood in front of the tanks at Tienanmen just slowed down 4 tanks and didn't really do anything. the Buddhist dude who burned himself alive outside the embassy just made a horrid little scorch-mark on the floor.

any idealogical resistance which creates publicity seen by the governing body is worthwhile.

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Linux

Re: voting et al.

It is on the shoulders of the smarter minorities to realize that their votes are worthless, but to convince the majorities of the opposite while at the same time convincing them to vote for something resembling the most rational possibility. The world sucks, and at present whoever most skillfully manipulates the unthinking majority wins. That war didn't stop because of the monk, it would have stopped without him, along with countless other individuals whose contributions were even less, yet it's a necessary delusion for those countless individuals to believe they are making a difference, because even tiny amounts add up. Idealogical resistance, as you put it, is very important.

Nevertheless I still personally believe DDoS attacks belong to the same category of Stupid Ideas along with "Quantitative Easing", Zimbabwe's screwed enough as it is, and with corporations, if only it were so easy for the masses of botnets to forcefully close customer accounts and sells. A few million to beef up their DDoS protection systems is nothing, losing a few million customers could be much more harmful.

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Anonymous Coward

Newsflash: American in attendance

ADD is an American phenomenon.

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FAIL

Re: Newsflash: American in attendance

"ADD is an American phenomenon."

First off, cultural relativism is not recognised as a source of truth. Secondly, read the DSM and the WHO equivalent, and you will find that it is not. It involves the basal ganglia, and they do not differ with culture, hence my comments directed at cultural relativism.

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Anonymous Coward

Idiots

Don't they know the only way to really harm Mugabe is to paste his head onto some gay porn?

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Pint

Ridicule.

Mugabe has the pathological hatred of gays that often betrays a lack of confidence in his own heterosexuality.

Not that it would have the slightest impact on his political strategies, mind you.

And ridicule does seem to get under his skin a bit.

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Heart

@anonymous "What Else Can We Do?"

+ who cares how many "internets" ..;-)

even if all one can do is help to give hope that not all are deluded by maya..

it is good ..everything counts ..eventually

audacious is good ..;-)

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FAIL

Their "struggle" has assumed (further) comic proportions, I see

"Operation Avenge Assange" - are you serious? are they? or do they think they are, I mean?

/Patiently waiting for it to all blow over, after all

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Linux

Rob Mugabe, before he robs you

well, that used to be the moto of the people of matabeleland, but the peoples mugger has killed tens of thousands of people, but nobody cares...

Mugabe on gay porn, sounds like fun, but ineffective.

I have lived in Zim for many years, and actually only wanted to leave the country for two or three years, but then things got completely out of hand.

the only solution, that I can realistically see (as sad horrific as that may be) is, the serving the head of the top 20 ZanuPF (or associates) on a silver platter quite litterally.

As I still have friends and relatives in Zim, I obviously have to post anonymously.

A beautiful country , the perl of Africa, ruined by this criminal.

Rhodesia did not have a penny of debt when Ian Smith handed it over to Bob.

His cronies are probably the most wicked, corrupt and coward people I have ever met (yes, unfortunately I have met and know the vast majority of them.) They suffer from what I call the Hitler-Syndrom

The more power they had, the more corrupt they got.

As in "Power corrupts, absolut power corrupts absolutely"

In terms of taking down the government websites, this shouldn't be overly difficult, since the vast majority of the GTA is incompetent at best.

I was asked to make a proposal to update their network a few years ago and therby received the specs of nearly their entire infrastructure.

Absolutely hilarious....

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Putting Mugabe's head on a gay porn movie

Sounds like a worthwhile project.

Moar.

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Grenade

Cut-n-paste

"Don't they know the only way to really harm Mugabe is to paste his head onto some gay porn?"

Why bother pasting? Why not just get hold of the real thing? It must exist somewhere.

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@AC

What else can you do?

How about something constructive?

What have I done in response to the Wikileaks debacle?

I set up a Tor exit node:

http://tor-exit-readme.hands.com/

I could be devoting the 50 Mbit/s that machine is now consuming to taking down Mugabe's web site, but I think it's probably more important to allow dissidents and the oppressed unfettered access to the Internet.

If it was a little more runnable under Debian, I'd also be running a Freenet node. When the software wrinkles get sorted out, I'll almost certainly do that too.

Things like Tor and Freenet make the net much more resistant to authoritarian control, and can be tuned to use only whatever resources you can afford to spare. So when you get bored with running LOIC, please consider devoting the same effort to Tor and/or Freenet instead, and leaving that running long term.

http://freenetproject.org/

https://torproject.org/

That's not to say that I think that people shouldn't entertain themselves by attacking Mugabe and his chums. Having been to Zimbabwe a few years ago I'm fully aware of what sort of bastard Mugabe is, but I seriously doubt that he'll even hear about his web site being inconvenienced (not if the sysadmins want to be alive next week, anyway).

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Boffin

RE: Tor

Been known for a long time how pathetically weak Tor is with any real interrogation. It was designed in another decade for another purpose and if you can see enough of a network you can break the most important part of it's security - that is, knowing if some chunk of traffic correlates at the start. This is well inside the capability of GCHQ and the NSA, to mention but a few.

It also leaks like a colander when not set up right.

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Happy

Mugabe gay porn vid.

No one will *admit* to downloading that one.

Everyone will.

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