WikiLeaks: Who are the hackers behind Operation Payback?

The MasterCard website was forced offline for several hours today, following an online assault led by a shadowy group of hackers protesting against the card issuer’s decision to block payments made to the WikiLeaks website.The “distributed denial of service” attack was apparently orchestrated by a “hacktivist” group calling itself Anonymous, which has in recent days temporarily paralysed the websites of Post Finance, the Swiss bank which closed WikiLeaks frontman Julian Assange’s account, and the website of the Swedish prosecution office. see:Operation Payback fails to take down Amazon in WikiLeaks revenge attack
The transient group of online activists crippling websites in “revenge” for cutting off ties with WikiLeaks today attempted its most audacious attack yet – and failed.Amazon, the world’s largest online retailer, was the prime target for a takedown effort coordinated by Anonymous, the increasingly fractious and vitriolic group behind this week’s attacks on sites including PayPal and Mastercard. Attackers Point to Cause in WikiLeaks
They got their start years ago as cyberpranksters, an online community of tech-savvy kids more interested in making mischief than political statements.But the coordinated attacks on major corporate and government Web sites in defense of WikiLeaks, which began on Wednesday and continued on Thursday, suggested that the loosely organized group called Anonymous might have come of age, evolving into one focused on more serious matters: in this case, the definition of Internet freedom. cyberwarriors stun experts: Anarchists and idealists behind ‘Operation Payback’
Internet subcultures rarely make front page news. But when the mysterious forces of Anonymous took it upon themselves to attack opponents of WikiLeaks, the whistle-blowing website, their success took everyone – not least victims such as Visa, MasterCard and PayPal – by surprise.This year has seen military and security experts often warn about the prospects of “cyberwarfare”. Few expected the most prominent assaults against large companies to come from a scattered group of anarchists and idealists with no identifiable leader, membership or nationality.

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