back to article Move over cybercrims, DDoS now protesters' weapon of choice

Ideological hacktivism has replaced cybercrime as the main motivatation behind DDoS attacks, according to a study by Arbor Networks. Up until last year, DDoS attacks were typically financially driven – either for reasons of competition or outright extortion – but the activities of Anonymous and related groups have changed that. …

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So basically, the annonytwats ...

... want to protect "freedom of speech" by quashing it?

The mind boggles ...

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@Jake

That comment is a bit harsh they seem to want to support freedom of speech. I think it is nice to see our young people expressing themselves for a change for worthwhile causes.

It is just a shame that there actions seem to attract such extreme measures from law enforcement.

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Not exactly true

They only quash people who are saying things they don't agree with.

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who quashes whom?

the corrupt (always), greedy (always), and incompetent (always) government(s) and multinational corporations? Or the anonymous terrorists, who, by launching the unprovoked (always), unjustified (always) wide-spreading actions, threaten the very roots of our precious, the internet-based economy, thus society, thus think of the children?

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The right of free speech

does not, by definition, include the right to advocate the destruction of freedom of speech.

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Anonymous Coward

Hmm...

What I find staggering is that there are a large amount of people who comment here who will quote Voltaire's saying about disagreeing about what someone is saying, but defending their right to say it, when we're talking about people spouting fascist bulshit. But as soon as Anonymous start DDOSing law enforcement, the music industry, banks etc, those rules are no longer applicable.

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Devil

@jake

It's the same sort of "logic" that leads to "we had to destroy the village in order to save it" or "we need to increases taxes on the working people to help the economy" or "Madonna had a great halftime show".

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Anonymous Coward

This isn't about freedom of speech.

This is about sending a message in a way that will ensure that it cannot be ignored.

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Anonymous Coward

No

It's about freedom of speech - If you want to protest get up off your backside and go to a focal point where you can be seen and counted as registering your disapproval.

Just installing LOIC and letting someone else control it is slacktivism, it proves nothing, takes no effort and few DDOS attacks fully takedown a site - certainly not one used regularly by the public - so most of the public won't be aware of the protest anyway.

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To paraphrase Mitch Hedburg

I'm against protesting. I just don't know how to express it.

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FAIL

More DDOS - *yawn*

Someone should tell these teenage keyboard warriors that ultimately , downing a web server is going to make sod all difference to anything unless it happens to be an online company that it attacks. Do these naive rugrats really think that attacking a government or corporate website is going to make the *slightest* difference to any policy? Most ministers in the UK probably couldn't even tell you the web address of their own departments website, much less give a shit if it goes down.

I'm sorry , but its all just like kiddies making a noise and stomping about in the playground. It seems impressive to them and their peers but doesn't even register to people walking past outside.

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very true

Very true boltar - most new government websites immediatlely fall on their arse due to "unexpected traffic volumes " anyway!

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Pirate

Circles

So basically DDoS, having started out as something done by folk with a grudge against others (e.g. for comments on IRC or elsewhere), was then picked up and monetised by criminal elements, but has now come back to being a tool of choice for expressing grudges because the tools for doing it (and their ready availability) make it so much easier now.

Ultimately it's all going to encourage governments, ISPs and telcos to find ways to limit or at the very least better monitor what can be done online... thereby offending more people and making it more likely to continue... and thus we go round and round in circles.

Joy.

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Devil

DDOS and Freedom of Speech

Whenever DDOS is discussed in technical forums, the suggestion that DDOSers are exercising their right to Freedom of Speech is usually tiptoed around or just ignored. But please, consider this: In pure DDOS attacks*, attackers are just doing something the system (lowercase 's'!) allows them to do, i.e., sending a data packet to said system. There is an implicit permission, coded in the attacked system, for users to send said packets to said system. It's not 'hacking' nor 'illegal access', as no machine's security is compromised in the process and no data is 'stolen' from the servers attacked.

The way many news outlets describe pure DDOS attacks as hacking is at best disingenuous, at worst part of an agenda by 'The Powers that Be'. They are not different from protesting at the main door of a company. If you don't agree with this statement, please tell me how 'pure DDOS' is different from protesting in front of some building and shouting to the top of your lungs so the employees inside find it hard to perform their tasks or communicate with their customers. You probably can be arrested for it, but IMHO in most of tthe West, the case will be laughed out of Court in a matter of minutes. If this DDOS is considered a crime, how should we consider users clogging the telephone lines of a company with complain calls? Talk of slippery slopes...

I'm curious as to what a tech savvy Court would rule in regard of one of these 'Pure DDOS' attacks and Freedom of Speech. Yeah, I know, we'll probably see real unicorns first.

Note * :'pure DDOS attack", using standard packets, not 'malformed' ones. Malformed packet attacks could be categorised, with some effort , as 'hacking'. DDOS attacks by botnets are, without a doubt, hacking, but the victims of hacking are not the systems DDOSed, but the machines in the botnet.

The Satan icon? It has a certain flameproof quality which probably will be useful to me in the near future :-D

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Anonymous Coward

Ok...

1) It's not freedom of speech to prevent someone else's speech (communications) being heard. It's actually the opposite of free speech.

2) If you physically prevented people from entering a shop by having thousands of people stood outside it in the street, preventing people from getting to the shop's door, just by force of numbers, you would be arrested or moved on. That is exactly what a DDOS is.

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Anonymous Coward

Hmm...

I used to work for RBS, as a techie, I regularly had to put up with people protesting outside the office calling me a wanker and worse. They didn't impede my entry into the office, although it was a pretty unpleasant experience. That is a protest - a misguided on in my opinion - but didn't prevent us going about out lawful business.

I would often see on my daily lunch walk animal rights protesters outside AXA. Those people were eventually moved on because they prevented access and pretty regularly crossed the line from shouting protest to abusive behaviour.

A friend of mine used to work in the Chemistry department in Oxford - next to the site the Animal Lab was being developed on - the animal rights protesters there actually managed to stop building (A DOS attack) by their behavior and again, were eventually moved on and prevented from protesting (except in very specifically defined places and times) by the courts.

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@ AC 8th February 2012 12:39 GMT

"1) It's not freedom of speech to prevent someone else's speech (communications) being heard. It's actually the opposite of free speech."

If you are shouting to prevent others from being heard, you are also exercising your right to freedom of speech. It's a clash between the rights of two groups, and the judges should rule whose rights should prevail. What most judges wouldn't dare to do is punishing one of the parts whose rights are in discussion.

"...preventing people from getting to the shop's door, just by force of numbers, you would be arrested or moved on."

The closest equivalents to being 'moved on' would be some filtering system preventing DDOS packets from reaching the attacked systems, or having the cops contacting each of the DDOSers and telling them to stop, or else... . Of the two solutions, the first one is totally doable.

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@AC 12:39

1) Agreed.

2) In the case of "occupy Oakland" or "Occupy San Francisco" (for example), it's more like about a hundred people. They are the 0.000001%. Maybe, at best. And probably 90% of the twats don't actually live in the municipality they are protesting in ... The locals wish they would go away, and let us get on with local politics. Must be a slow news year up in Headwaters ...

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FAIL

It seems to me that DDoS is just utterly pointless a great deal of the time. Does DDoSing Monsanto stop their field trials, research and GM food making its way into the human food chain? Similarly, does DDoSing the FBI's public website stop their investigations into drug trafficking and serious black hat hacking activities?

The answers happen to be no, and also no. With that in mind, what's the point? All they are doing is poking the proverbial bear with the proverbial stick and there will be serious repercussions given the targets they've now decided to go for. If that wasn't bad enough, they are still telling people they should be using LOIC of all things. As already stated by others, it does bugger all and is too easy to defend against and recover from - the only systems that are truly harmed are those participating in a botnet or rooted by the inevitable backdoor that would be planted in the LOIC exe.

All of this is different to a standard physical protest, like picketing and marching.

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Jop
Megaphone

The DDoS against some sites like the FBI, got the attacks on prime time news. So in that respect the attacks generated interest and more people being aware of their agenda. The actual attacks achieve nothing more than publicity.

P.S Anyone remember: ping -l 65510 hostname? :P

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