Chavs, Emos and Pirates

Posted on January 27, 2011 by

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Five people were arrested today in connection with Operation Payback and its leader Anonymous. So who is up for the chop now?

Well three of the five were 19, 16 and amazingly 15 years-old. It’s hard to believe that a child has been arrested for attacking the likes of Mastercard, Amazon and PayPal. That’s something I never thought I would say; still I feel a little sorry for those who follow the new craze of being a cyber pirate. Granted it’s amazing to think that Mastercard, a global company that owned $7.5 billion worth of assets last year was attacked by a 15 year-old boy for what was probably no other reason than, ‘because he could’. Despite this, the poor kid was assured that he too would remain anonymous, it certainly doesn’t make his actions right but arrested? Really?

The problem for the 15 year-old (and now many other nervous children) is that the program they were told to use by Anonymous put no effort into hiding the identity of their computer. The program known as LOIC which stands for (and get ready for this…) Low Orbit Ion Cannon simply helps carry out the DDoS attack that we have (or will) become very used to seeing.

The name by the way comes from an old computer game that saw the good guys blast the bad guys with a sort of satellite cannon. The inference here being that Operation Payback will attack the bad guys from miles away with devastating force… or put kids in prison. One of the two.

You have to appreciate the thought process behind some of these new cyber-names. Imagine the moment when they came up with this gem!

The cyber  group ‘Anonymous’ said that if people downloaded the LOIC program they would allow Anonymous access to their computer which they would in turn use, with many other computers, to attack the big corporate giants.  They said that in doing this there would be a ‘next to zero’ chance of being traced. Looks like Anonymous got that wrong, sorry kids!

The big question for me though is will arresting a 15 year-old really solve anything? Sure it sends out a message but will that really deter people from taking part in cyber-attacks? It only takes a few die hard supporters and you have an attack. Were these not just kids messing about on the internet? Prove that they are the masterminds behind Operation Payback and I’ll gladly eat my hat but somehow I doubt it.

If you are going to stop people from aiding cyber-attacks then policing the 6 billion inhabitants of this planet may be biting off a bit more than you can chew. How about focussing on a way to stop these attacks from having any effect?

If you’re worried about cyber-attacks, then don’t be. It’s highly unlikely that you’ll ever be targeted for an attack. Although saying that I’m sure that’s pretty similar to what Anonymous told the kids so just in case here‘s a helpful article on staying safe.

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Posted in: Media, Technology