Update: MasterCard, Visa others hit by DDoS attacks over WikiLeaks
Supporters of whistleblower Web site step up attacks
Computerworld - The main Web site of MasterCard was knocked offline today in a large distributed denial of service (DDoS) attack apparently launched in retaliation for the credit card company's decision this week to cut off services to WikiLeaks.
Similar, much smaller attacks have also been detected against numerous other sites, including those belonging to U.S. Sen. Joseph Lieberman (I-Conn.) and former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, according to security researcher Sean-Paul Correll of PandaLabs. Correll has been maintaining a frequently updated blog on the unfolding attacks.
According to Correll, Visa's Web site appears to have been hit with two separate sets of DDoS attacks. The first was launched around 4 a.m. ET and caused intermittent site outages for several hours. No one has claimed responsibility for those attacks. Then at 4 p.m. today the site was hit again with another DDoS attack, this time by Anonymous. The attacks slowed web traffic to the Visa site considerably, Correll said.
Also targeted have been the Web sites of Swiss payment transaction firm PostFinance, as well as PayPal and EveryDNS, all three of whom terminated services to WikiLeaks after the site began publishing thousands of leaked U.S. State Department cables last week.
In addition, DDoS attacks have been launched against the Swedish prosecutors who are pursuing rape charges against WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange. The site of the lawyer representing the two women who were allegedly assaulted by Assange was also hit, Correll said today.
The attacks have resulted in varying degrees of downtime for the targeted Web sites. MasterCard's site, for instance, was largely unavailable for hours after the DDoS attacks against it began shortly after 4 a.m. ET, Correll said. And the attacks against PostFinance have so far resulted in more than 33 hours of downtime for the firm.
In a brief statement, MasterCard this afternoon said it has made "significant progress" in restoring full service to its corporate site. Despite "limited interruptions," cardholders can continue to use their Mastercards securely, the company said. "Our core processing capabilites have not been compromised and cardholder account data has not been placed at risk."
However, the attacks against Lieberman's Senate site and Palin's sarahpac.com appear to have caused much less disruption. According to statistics on Correll's PandaLabs blog, Lieberman's site was down for barely 12 minutes, while Palin's was knocked offline for about 25 minutes.
An anonymous, loosely affiliated group of hackers and activists, calling themselves Anonymous, claimed responsibility for the attacks against MasterCard and the others. The organizers of the group have an ongoing campaign called Operation:Payback that is focused on attacking entertainment industry Web sites over copyright enforcement issues.
Earlier this week, the group announced its support for WikiLeaks and announced Operation:Avenge Assange, which is targeted at "entities involved in censoring [WikiLeaks'] information."
- Major companies, like Target, often fail to act on malware alerts
- The new security perimeter: Human Sensors
- Snowden advocates at SXSW for improved data security
- Joomla receives patches for zero-day SQL injection vulnerability, other flaws
- NSA used 'European bazaar' to spy on EU citizens
- Target CIO resigns following breach
- Evan Schuman: Mobile IT Roach Motel: Data checks in, but it won't check out
- Sears finds no evidence of data breach -- yet
- Gameover malware is tougher to kill with new rootkit component
- Mobile app for RSA Conference exposes personal data
- Best iPhone, iPad Business Apps for 2014
- 14 Tech Conventions You Should Attend in 2014
- 10 Desktop Apps to Power Your Windows PC
- How to Add New Job Skills Without Going Back to School
- Slideshow: 7 security mistakes people make with their mobile device
- iOS vs. Android: Which is more secure?
- 11 sure signs you've been hacked
- Who's Spying on You? You're aware of the threats of malware to your business but what about the ever-changing ground rules? Cybercriminals today are launching attacks against...
- Gartner 2013 Magic Quadrant for Enterprise Backup/Recovery Software See why CommVault was positioned as the #1 leader in Gartner's 2013 Magic Quadrant for Enterprise Backup/Recovery software for the 3rd year in...
- Forrester Report: CommVault is a Leader in Enterprise Backup and Recovery In this report, Forrester takes a deep dive into the evaluation criteria, how CommVault is positioned and the features and functionality that make...
- Forrester Wave for Enterprise Backup and Recovery Read this report to see how CommVault continues to outpace its competitors and why Forrester positioned CommVault Simpana as the top backup and...
- Four Myths of High-Productivity App Dev Debunked Debunk the main myths surrounding high-productivity application development and how both platforms have overcome them.
On-Demand Webcast: 7 Reasons to Choose VoIP
Thinking about a new phone system for your business?
Be sure to watch this informative webcast. Steve Strauss, small business columnist for USA...
All Cybercrime and Hacking White Papers |