Hackers Attack Scientology

"Anonymous" group launches denial of service attacks on church sites in retribution for YouTube's withdrawal of Cruise video clip

A group of attackers known only as "Anonymous" has launched a systematic series of attacks against the Church of Scientology following a flap over a video posted on YouTube.

Over the past week, local chapter Websites of the Church of Scientology have been defaced or rendered inoperative because of denial of service attacks, according to reports. Anonymous has claimed responsibility for the attacks, promising to eradicate the church from the Internet.

The group is angered partly by what it calls "Internet censorship." YouTube last week agreed to pull a video that was circulating on its site, in which Tom Cruise states, in part, that Scientologists are the only experts on the mind. The church claimed copyright infringement by YouTube, which lifted the video. Several other sites have since published the Cruise video in its entirety.

Anonymous published a video on YouTube to warn the church of its plans.

"Anonymous has therefore decided that your organization should be destroyed, for the good of your followers, for the good of mankind, and for our own enjoyment," the video says. "We shall proceed to expel you from the Internet and systematically dismantle the Church of Scientology in its present form."

— Tim Wilson, Site Editor, Dark Reading

Tim Wilson is Editor in Chief and co-founder of Dark Reading.com, UBM Tech's online community for information security professionals. He is responsible for managing the site, assigning and editing content, and writing breaking news stories. Wilson has been recognized as one ... View Full Bio

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