February 10, 2012, 4:01 PM — Hacktivist collective Anonymous has struck again at the U.S. government, claiming to have taken down cia.gov, the main web site for the Central Intelligence Agency.
The site went down about 3:10 p.m., apparently under a massive distributed denial of service (DDOS) attack.
@YourAnonNews, a primary outlet for news on Anonymous' anti-authoritarian activist wing, announced the operation's success as CIA TANGO DOWN" > at 3:25 Eastern time.
No specific reason for the attack was announced, nor were any specific groups or individuals within Anonymous named as the attackers.
Last month, in what was called the largest collective DDOS attack ever, as many as 5,000 individual members of Anonymous and affiliated groups attacked a host of government sites in retaliation for the raid that took down MegaUpload, the world's largest file-sharing site and, allegedly, largest clearinghouse for copyright-infringing digital content.
It's not the first time Anonymi have taken down the CIA's web site.
In June, as part of a 51-day-long hacking spree, the Anonymous spinoff group LulzSec took down CIA.gov for a couple of hours, citing the same reason it attacked other government and corporate sites: "For the lulz."
The attacks, which included a hack of Senate.gov and of FBI affiliates, raised LulzSec's visibility, but also its infamy, prompting more involvement from federal law enforcement than a group its size could typically command.
No telling yet who among the Anonymi launched the attack or why. Usually a specific operation is announced before an attack or immediately after it.
It's possible the attack was from an affiliated group that operates independently of the core set of Anonymous hackers and decision makers.
As of 4 p.m. Eastern time, CIA.gov was still unavailable.