DoS: No One is Safe
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In my last article, I gave a broad overview of Denial-of-Service (DoS) attacks, including specific types and how to protect yourself against them. However, any respectable DoS attacker isn't going to focus on you and your measly individual computer -- they're going for mass destruction, and if your computer gets caught in the crossfire, that's your tough luck. This article will examine two major DoS attacks that have occurred within the past year.
No matter what you may think of Tom Cruise, when you hear his name, one of the first things you think of is his affiliation with the Church of Scientology. Sometime in the middle of January 2008, a video featuring Cruise in an interview in which he vehemently professes the hallmarks of Scientology and its place in the world was leaked and uploaded to YouTube. Even if you aren't familiar with the video, I'm sure you can imagine when I say that it doesn't put Cruise in the most flattering position. I'm also certain that you will believe me when I say the Church was none too pleased with its release, claiming it was “pirated and edited” from its original form.
In the past, the Church has been known to “react” swiftly when confronted with anything they deem to be a slur against them. I can recall, specifically, a certain South Park episode defaming the Church of Scientology and Tom Cruise and the forthcoming litigation against the show's creators. A strong public outcry against what they thought was censorship soon followed. The same thing happened in this instance when the Church threatened a lawsuit and YouTube subsequently took down the video. Likewise, a similar reaction to that of their previous responses befell the Church.
The reaction was a protest called Project Chanology organized by the Internet group Anonymous. The project officially started on January 21, 2008 when the group posted a video on YouTube saying that Scientology's reaction toward the Tom Cruise video was nothing less than Internet censorship and that they intended to make their goal to “expel [the church] from the Internet and systematically dismantle the church of Scientology in its present form.” As you can probably figure out from the topic of this and the previous article, Anonymous used DDoS attacks to bring down the Church's online operations.
The next section will go into exactly what happened, as far as the Internet disruptions are concerned, and Scientology's reaction to the effects.
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