Anonymous debuts new technique for attack on PayPal

Attack on financial stability of victim is new to Anonymous, but well proven by other protesters

Members of Anonymous, which used DDOS attacks to bring down PayPal, MasterCard and other financial-services companies after they stopped allowing payments from supporters to WikiLeaks last year, have launched another attack on PayPal using a weapon not previously deployed by Anonymous.

In the past, calls for Anons and supporters to attack some opponent focused on DDOS -- floods of bogus page requests generated by a custom-designed DDOS tool called the Low Orbit Ion Cannon (LOIC) or one of several fictional next-generation Internet doomsday weapons.

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Though often successful, these attacks depended on large numbers of Anonymi and supporters, some of whom didn't hide their IP addresses well enough to avoid arrest days, weeks or months later.

In order to deliver the attack but avoid the arrests, a subset of Anons who call themselves #PoisAnoN are calling on followers to attack Paypal using a weapon specifically designed to target the business model and financial stability of its targets.

Though not often used among hacktivists, the weapon has been used to devastating effect by dozens of activist groups from all across the political spectrum (and to no effect at all by even more).

Few have called for it using as unprintable a name as that chosen by #PoisAnoN, but the principle, execution and possible effect are exactly the same.

Rather than drive PayPal off the Internet temporarily using DDOS, #PoisAnoN, and a spokesperson using the Twitter account @Discordian, wants to drive it out of existence using not hacking tools, but an economic boycott.

The operation's name is #OpF***Paypal (though the Anon eschew asterisks).

Its brief description and call for action are posted on Pastebin – possibly the least illegal content ever to have been posted by any of the Anon as part of a purposeful provocation.

Rather than take down PayPal's site @Discordian urges supporters to move any money they have within the PayPal system to other electronic-payment systems.

That's all.

No crime; no risk of arrest, no need to learn Linux, buy a mask and sleep on the ground smelling like pepper spray.

Just move your money from PayPal to – anywhere but PayPal.

In this Operation, we are _NOT_ going to do any DDoS attacks on as they will pour millions of millions of dollars into the Feds pockets and issue raids on those who didn't bother to mask up their IP. We all know what happened last time. We are going to hit them where it hurts. They will lose money if you exchange your paypal balance for another E-Currency. IT IS TIME THAT YOU CLOSE your PayPal and move onto E-Currencies as described above along Prepaid Gift Debit/Credit Cards while you Online Shop or do any sort of Online Banking. Think of it....With an online bank, you could do LibertyReserve, WebMoney, or even Bitcoins and it would be SAFE and also at that OFF-SHORE, with NO Credit Card or Bank Account needed. You make the choice fellow follower. We are your brothers, your sisters, your teacher, the lawyer down the street, the fellow man across the hallway, we are one and we are many. We are Anonymous." – Pastebin post by Guest, claimed by PoisAnoN and @Discordian, March 19, 2012

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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