In recent videos by the hacker group “Anonymous”, threats were leveled at web sites owned by the likes of Facebook, the U.N. and several banks if the file sharing site MegaUpload.com was not restored. Now the group says that the announcements were only to raise awareness and that no attacks will occur, but that #opglobalblackout (operation global blackout) is still an ongoing operation.
Tens of millions of Americans may feel the wrath of the infamous hacker group “Anonymous” as they threaten phase one of “Operation Global Blackout” over the recent shutdown of file sharing site MegaUpload.com.
The video states that Anonymous has gained access to servers at several banks, the U.N., Microsoft’s XBoxLive, Playstation Networ, Facebook, Twitter and more. While the video makes a short mention of the Stop Online Piracy Act and Protect IP Act, the groups’ threat is to “black out” the above mentioned servers if their demand for the unconditional restoration of MegaUpload is not met within 72 hours.
The video was uploaded on January 19th and so far the is no movement to restore MegaUpload or that the charges will be dropped. That would indicate that today, January 22nd would be the target date or soon thereafter.
The video gaming and social media platform interruptions will be more of an inconvenience than anything, but a banking system blackout could pose real risk to American’s financial dealings. Outages could mean everything from out-of-service ATM’s, bank tellers unable to process transaction and online banking sites being offline to an inability of banks to process normal debit/checking transactions. The exact level of access and nature of the Anonymous threat is not available in the video nor elsewhere.
While the hackers claim to have access to the banking, gaming and social network servers and the personal information of those that use it, they claim that they won’t use the information.
While directed at members of Congress, the results of the black out will affect every day users of technology – and perhaps some that weren’t aware that their lives were so dependent upon it.
Twitter reactions to the threatened attack have ranged from fear to admiration: