"A growing list of organizations and individuals that have tangled with WikiLeaks and its detained founder, Julian Assange, have suffered online attacks, in what appears to be an effort by hackers bent on exacting revenge for the document-leaking website.
The attacks stepped up Wednesday, a day after Mr. Assange was arrested and denied bail in London in connection with sexual-misconduct accusations in Sweden. A range of organizations, including MasterCard Inc., Visa Inc., and the Swedish prosecutor's office, reported technical difficulties with their websites that appear to stem from so-called denial of service attacks, in which computers flood a server to prevent it from displaying a Web page.
The attacks in recent days have hit eBay Inc.'s PayPal as well as MasterCard, both of which have pulled services from WikiLeaks in recent days. Also affected: Swiss bank PostFinance. The unit of Swiss Post recently closed Mr. Assange's account, saying he provided a false address in Geneva, failing to meet the bank's requirement of Swiss residency for account holders. While the attacks caused some business disruption, they were mostly annoying rather than crippling."
Wall Street Journal
If the end goal of Assange is to create anarchy through distrust then these attacks would seem to be a continuation of that same tactic. The single largest effect of the Wikileaks disclosures has been to create a real lack of faith in the truthfulness of governments among the people. It has also, to some extent, created distrust and anger among governments. Assange doesn't have to destroy any government, he just needs to make it impossible for them to function to achieve his objective.
This is what the hackers are doing to the companies that have blacklisted Assange at the request of those same governments. They don't have to shut down Mastercard, Visa or Pay Pal. They just have to create a state of distrust. Now that we know they can hack the sites at will are you comfortable using your credit cards? Even if they haven't accessed the data base that has the card information don't you think that enough attacks around them will cause people to question just how safe their transactions are?
And if the electronic banking system can be brought to its knees through distrust doesn't that serve the goals of the anarchists? Couldn't governments be toppled by crippling economic systems?
This is all guesswork on my part but I know enough about the mindset of these guys to know that this is just the sort of thing that would appeal to them. We'll see if it goes anywhere from here.
"...The Swedish government's website was also brought down this morning after a fresh wave of cyber attacks together with former US vice presidential hopeful Sarah Palin.
Mrs Palin's website, SarahPAC.com, has been targeted as well as her personal credit card information."
"Nearly 15 percent of the world's Internet traffic -- including data from the Pentagon, the office of Defense Secretary Robert Gates and other U.S. government websites -- was briefly redirected through computer networks in China last April, according to a congressional commission report obtained by FoxNews.com."
I'm not saying there's any connection at all. It's just an interesting thought, what with the ongoing potential for a crisis in Korea and the missile fired off the California coast and the very scary fact that most of our money and thus our economic system functions in the electronic ether world.
"While we learned yesterday that the U.S. is preparing its domestic response to a potential economic collapse, the bigger story might be that the U.S. has been playing such “war games” for almost two years.
“The Pentagon sponsored a first-of-its-kind war game last month focused not on bullets and bombs — but on how hostile nations might seek to cripple the U.S. economy, a scenario made all the more real by the global financial crisis.” That’s how Politico reporter Eamon Javers (now with CNBC and who brought us Monday’s report) began an article dated April 9, 2009.
In that article, he describes how the U.S. first began preparing for an economic collapse. “Participants sat along a V-shaped set of desks beneath an enormous wall of video monitors displaying economic data,” he writes. “Their efforts were carefully observed and recorded by uniformed military officers and members of the U.S. intelligence community.”
The Office of the Secretary of Defense hosted the two-day event March 17 and 18, 2009, at the Warfare Analysis Laboratory in Laurel, MD.
The “game” didn’t end well for the United States: “the savviest economic warrior proved to be China.”
Again, I'm just thinking out loud with no real basis in fact; just a loud alarm bell ringing in my head.
"...in an exclusive interview with ABC News' Jim Sciutto, Wikileaks' spokesman Kristinn Hrafnsson insisted Assange's arrest won't alter the site's calculated release of thousands of secret government cables, which still continues according to plan. The site published a new slate of cables Wednesday.
"It is not derailing us in any way," said Hrafnsson, adding that a group of five to six people is running Wikileaks' operations in Assange's absence. "This is a turning tide and starting a trend that you can't really stop unless you want to shut down the Internet."
It appears that with the current push for Net Neutrality some in our government would be more than happy to do just that. Even if they can't get it through Congress the FCC will just go ahead and regulate it into existence.
Again, if anarchy leading to collapse is the goal, causing the loss of freedom on the internet would go a long way towards accomplishing it. It will shut down dissent without affecting the hackers at all.
It will also make the commercial uses of the internet more difficult in America due to regulation, causing us to slip further down into depression.
"The plan from the chairman of the Federal Communications Commission to ensure an open and neutral Internet drew mixed reviews on Wednesday from consumer advocates and Internet service providers, presenting the agency with an uncertain way forward as it considers new broadband regulation.
The proposal, by Julius Genachowski, would forbid both wired and wireless Internet service providers from blocking lawful content. It would also require broadband Internet service providers to give consumers basic information about how the companies manage their networks and would forbid discrimination in transmitting lawful content.
But it relies in part on a novel legal interpretation of how much authority the agency has over the Internet, one that some critics think is almost certain to invite Congressional opposition and court challenges. And it drew lukewarm support from one of the most important voices in the debate, Michael J. Copps, an F.C.C. commissioner, who has advocated stricter regulation and whose vote the chairman will need in order to get an order approved by a majority vote of the five-member commission."
New York Times