DoS: No One is Safe - Project Chanology
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Anonymous' first successful attacks against the Scientology websites came before their official announcement via the YouTube video. On January 18, 2008, the group successfully took down a major Scientology website as well as some local chapter sites. The attacks were suspected to be of the DoS variety. However, according to this article, Dr. Jose Nazario of Arbor Networks said the attacks were mild (Scientology.org was flooded with 220 Mbps of traffic) compared to other attacks. The Scientology attacks lasted about 30 minutes each and averaged about 15,000 packets per second.
Of course, the church didn't just sit back and take this. On January 21, 2008, Scientology.org switched to the web host Prolexic Technologies, which specializes in protecting sites from DoS attacks. However, the attacks by Anonymous continued. They managed to make the Church of Scientology's official website completely inaccessable. But Scientology spokeswoman Karin Pouw stated that the church's websites “have been and are online.”
This could be possible because things haven't exactly gone to plan for Anonymous. Apparently during one of the attacks, one of the DDoS tools malfunctioned and inadvertently hit a Dutch secondary school called Etty Hillesum Lyceum. Also, a group called the g00ns, which are connected with the project, falsely targeted a 59 year old man from California who they thought was behind some of the counter attacks against Project Chanology. They ended up posting his address, home phone number, and wife's Social Security Number in retaliation for the counter-hack group Regime's similar tactics against Project Chanology.
Another attack the group tried to pull against Scientology involved “bumping up” Scientology related links on Digg.com. At one point, 8 of the top 10 stories were related to the Scientology or the Anonymous controversy. Digg CEO Jay Adelson said, “It just happened to hit a nerve that the Digg community was interested in.”
The last cyber-attack confirmed to be perpetrated by Anonymous was a “Google bomb.” The technique was used to make Scientology.org the first result in a Google search for “dangerous cult.” In the blog by Jason Lee Miller, which reported the incident, said, “They also wished to replace Scientology.org with Xenu.net...as the number one result for the keyword 'scientology.'”
(google bomb pic)
The Anonymous campaign has gotten mixed reactions across the board, including some negative ones from those who you'd think would be on their side. Some longtime Scientology opponents have expressed their concern over the group's tactics (which have also included some aggressive protests), saying that using illegal tactics, like DoS attacks, only helps Scientology's cause by giving them the "out" of religious persecution. It also involves the same heavy-handed tactics that they were supposed to be against in the first place.
But enough of this goody-goody BS. We're interested in the attacks, the more illegal and dangerous the better. That's why the next section will delve into one of the biggest cyber-attacks of the past year, one that put an entire country on the ropes. So click ahead if you want to see what went down.
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