By the time East Coasters were finishing dinner last night, 10 websites had fallen to what hacktivist group Anonymous calls its “low orbit ion cannon,” or LOIC — a public domain software tool named after a weapon in a popular sci-fi real-time strategy game that’s designed to stress test whether a network can handle a distributed denial of service attack.
According to Anonymous, 10 well-known governmental and corporate sites with ties to the entertainment industry were assaulted and knocked offline in retaliation for the FBI shutting down Megaupload.com, one of the world’s largest file-sharing sites. The FBI had closed Megaupload.com earlier Thursday afternoon, accusing the company of more than $500 million in revenue losses stemming from copyright violations, and arresting four people in connection with the indictment.
Dubbing its DDoS spree “OpMegaupload,” Anonymous claims it took down usdoj.govand justice.gov (the U.S. Department of Justice), universalmusic.com (Universal Music Group),RIAA.org (the Recording Industry Association of America), MPAA.org (the Motion Picture Association of America), copyright.gov (the U.S. Copyright Office), hadopi.fr (France’s copyright-enforcement agency), wmg.com (Warner Music Group), bmi.com (Broadcast Music, Inc.) andfbi.gov (the Federal Bureau of Investigation). The DOJ’s website was first to fall, about an hour after the Justice Department announced its indictment of Megaupload.com.