'Hackers threaten cyber war to avenge Wikileaks'

December 9, 2010 15:05

Credit card companies, Swedish government, Lebanese newspaper all hit by hackers working as a part of "Operation Payback."

2 minute read.

WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange

Wikileaks Julian Assange. (photo credit: ASSOCIATED PRESS)

Computer hackers warned on Thursday that they are planning cyber attacks to avenge the attempts to shut down Wikileaks, hours after major websites worldwide were shut down.

Hacker group "1-Cyber" told Reuters that it is planning a "data war" in retaliation for Wikileak's treatment.

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A 22-year-old English man calling himself Coldblood from a "hacktivist" group called "Anonymous" said in a BBC interview that "this campaign is not over from what I've seen. It's still going strong." Coldblood said he is a software engineer and is politically unaffiliated.

On Wednesday, hackers crashed MasterCard website, after it stopped allowing customers to make donations to WikiLeaks. PayPal and Visa.com were also hit, after doing the same. Amazon.com stopped working properly after not allowing WikiLeaks to use its servers.

"Anonymous" claimed responsibility for attacking MasterCard, and activists said that they continued to act against other sites as a part of "Operation Payback," a project that is meant to punish companies that stop internet file-sharing. "Anonymous" has also attacked the Church of Scientology in the past.

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Swedesh newspaper Aftonbladet reported on Thursday that the Swedish government's web site stopped working overnight Wednesday. The Swedish prosecutor's office as well as the lawyer for the two women who complained of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange's sexual misconduct were also cyber-attacked.

On Thursday, Lebanese daily Al-Akhbar claimed to be under attack from WikiLeaks, as its web site became inaccessible.

WikiLeaks' payment processor to sue card companies

WikiLeaks' payment processor says it is preparing to sue credit card companies Visa and MasterCard over their refusal to process donations.

The statement by Iceland's DataCell ehf comes as Internet payment company PayPal says it will return the funds frozen in WikiLeaks' account to the foundation that was fundraising for it.

It isn't yet clear where or when such a lawsuit would be heard. DataCell CEO Andreas Fink told The Associated Press that he would seek to have his case heard in a court in London, where Visa Europe Ltd. is based.

Fink said in an e-mail that "it is simply ridiculous to think WikiLeaks has done anything criminal." Visa and MasterCard have not immediately returned e-mails seeking comment.

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