One day after LulzSec betrayal, Anonymous hordes flock to attack Vatican

Second try is the charm as vatican.va comes down; PandaLabs got a dose of righteous anger as well

Anonymous is thrashing about, looking for targets against which to retaliate following the arrest of five alleged members of the (mostly despised) Anonymous spinoff group LulzSec, betrayed and indicted by one of their own leaders, as the FBI announced yesterday.

The first victim was Panda Security's PandaLabs site, whose home page was defaced with login information of employees as well as slogans and links to the video of a seven-minute screed denouncing Sabu and bragging about Anonymous' own exploits during the past year.

Angry Anonymi blame PandaLabs for lurking in IRC channels, collecting information that helped lead to the arrest of 25 Anons last year.

"Anonymous existed before LulzSec and will continue existing," one grafitti'd message read.

"Yeah Yeah we know...Sabu snitched on us," another read. "As usually happens FBI menaced him to take his sons away we understood."

Evidently they didn't. "Traison (sic) is something we don't forgive," the attackers also wrote, skipping the spellcheck in the midst of all the excitement.

Panda released a statement saying attackers got past only security on the web site, not into the customer databases, source code for Panda antivirus products or sensitive internal data. The login they posted were "for employees that have not been working at Panda for over five years," the statement read.

Liable to get much more attention was the successful DDOS attack on the main web site maintained by the Vatican – a repetition of an attack that failed last year and was chronicled in the New York Times as a standard Anonymous modus operandi.

www.vatican.va was inaccessible for much of Wednesday afternoon and early evening, Italian time, according to the Associated Press.

The attack was in retaliation for the burning of books and heretics during the Inquisition in Spain during the 13 th Century and for more recent scandals involving pedophile priests.

Other complaints touched on the Vatican's opposition to abortion and "daily" interference in Italian political affairs, though these were not detailed.

"This attack is not against the Christian religion or the faithful around the world but against the corrupt Roman Apostolic Church," the main Anonymous site in Italy announced.

The previous attack, in August, 2011, was launched by Anonymi in Mexico and South America, who spent 18 days trying to recruit enough helpers to crank up the attack enough to be successful.

The attack and its failure is detailed in a NYT story and a report from security company Imperva (PDF), which left the Vatican's name out of the report, but confirmed to the Times that the Vatican was indeed the target.

This time, a day after the most shocking betrayal of what followers consider to be a virtuous political and social activist movement, Anonymous appears to have had little trouble recruiting volunteers to throw into the attack.

Read more of Kevin Fogarty's CoreIT blog and follow the latest IT news at ITworld. Follow Kevin on Twitter at @KevinFogarty. For the latest IT news, analysis and how-tos, follow ITworld on Twitter and Facebook.

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