Massive hacker strike against US government and banks turns out to be a dud

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This is what digital revolution looks like, apparently.
This is what digital revolution looks like, apparently.
Image: Digital Intifada

Today is May 7, the day that Anonymous and various explicitly anti-USA and anti-Israel hacking groups promised to take down the websites of the Pentagon, White House, FBI, Bank of America, Chase bank, and all the other usual symbols of oppression. Except the attacks appear to be a complete failure. All the sites on the group’s #OpUSA target list seem to still be up and running. If these sites are under fire—via a flood of nonsense traffic known as a Distributed Denial of Service attack—they are absorbing it with no apparent interruption to their service.

Those hacks that have taken place are somewhat underwhelming. The “Tunisian_Hàckers Team” has released what it claims is a database of usernames and passwords for “Blood Bank Of America,” but which is actually a site to help people find blood banks to which to donate. The rest of the compromised sites are a strangely random grab-bag of domains, from a Romanian air-conditioning company (http://aerbineconditionat.ro/) to a Philippine municipal government  (http://sanpedrolaguna.gov.ph/).

Anonymous released a statement stating that the group is involved “in solidarity with the Guantanamo hunger strikers,” and that their goal is to shut down the prison in Cuba where America holds so-called enemy combatants. However, the “official” press release from the N4m3le55 cr3w hackers behind “OpUSA” doesn’t mention Guantanamo Bay at all, and isn’t terribly clear about the goals of this attack. Here’s a representative passage:

America you have committed multiple war crimes in Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, and recently you have committed war crimes in your own country. You have killed hundreds of innocent children and families with drones, guns, and now bombs. America you have hit thousands of people where it hurts them, now it is our time for our Lulz.

Like many hacking protests organized under the name “Anonymous”—which anyone can appropriate—this one appears to be fundamentally grassroots and not terribly well organized. Targets on the group’s list include, for example, the website where visitors can sign up for tours of the Pentagon. Not all self-described “hacktivists” are in favor of the campaign.

The group has also released a video, under the account “Killuminati544,” in which it (they, him?) warns Americans to move their funds out of large banks, and threatens to take the “USA” off the “cyber map,” as previously happened “with Israel,” apparently a reference to the compromising of many Israeli websites a month ago. (Anonymous claimed $3 billion worth of damage was done in that attack, but the Israeli government said it accomplished “little real damage.”)

And at least some of the hackers seem to have set themselves more modest goals. “Wolfburner,” part of the “Digital Intifadah,” has made public on his (or her) own site—from which the image above is taken—a list of all the domains she (or he) has compromised, which include sites critical to national security such as “lawnmower-reviews.net” and “fatlossweightloss.net.”