September 15, 2011, 1:26 PM — Hactivist group Anonymous announced it will launch a new weapon on Saturday to replace the Low Orbit Ion Cannon application it uses to automate distributed denial of service attacks.
Rather than just automate content requests to make them faster and easier to launch – so a botnet can launch 10,000 per second rather than 5,000, for example – as the previous application did, the new #Ref#Ref uses a web-site's own server resources against it, according to hints from various Anonymi.
The group has been testing the new app during the past few weeks, bringing down the main WikiLeaks site, attacking Twitter and running other tests designed to verify the scalability and reliability of the new app.
The release of #Ref#Ref is timed to coincide with the combined online/real-world protest against the economic power of Wall Street firms, which it scheduled for 7 a.m. Eastern time Saturday, Sept. 17.
The operation dubbed #OccupyWallStreet was announced several weeks ago. Its stated intent is to persuade as many as 20,000 people to camp out on the streets of Manhattan's financial district until the Obama administration meets its demands.
Similar but lesser protests are scheduled for Los Angeles, San Francisco and Seattle.
The extent of the demands isn't entirely clear, but they revolve around the connection between big business, campaign contributions and a perception that big business is influencing the U.S. government too much, at the expense of the middle and lower classes.