WMD for WWW

Anonymous shows how easy it is to hack at will

Written by The Indian Express | Published: May 21, 2012 3:10 am

Anonymous shows how easy it is to hack at will

The hacktivist group,Anonymous,which had weighed in in favour of Anna Hazare’s campaign,has again launched distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks against Indian websites,including those of the Supreme Court and the All India Congress Committee. This was in support of the legislative motion of P. Rajeev of the CPM,seeking annulment of the poorly considered Information Technology (Intermediaries Guidelines) Rules,2011,which can force hosts to censor user content on the basis of complaints alone. Besides,it was a reaction to an order apparently secured to block file-sharing websites like The Pirate Bay,to protect Dhanush’s movie,3.

So what’s new here? Anonymous is to the DDoS attack what Henry Ford was to the automobile — it has created a production line using a freely available script called the Low Orbit Ion Cannon. Named for a weapon of mass destruction in a video game,it helps even people with no hacking skills to launch attacks at will. Anonymous announces targets on chat channels and message boards and in a few minutes,thousands of script kiddies,who subscribe to its ideology,point and fire. The result is assured destruction.

Actually,Anonymous needn’t have bothered. Our legislators realise that the government is seeking draconian powers to censor. Leader of the Opposition Arun Jaitley has said that it is futile to try to restrict access to information. Telecom Minister Kapil Sibal has been forced to seek a consensus. And anyway,the blocking of The Pirate Bay,an iconic site for the movement against the present copyright regime,was so patchy that it need not be taken seriously. On this issue,perhaps we can find the line of best fit on our own,without help from Anonymous.

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