PandaLabs Update: 'Operation Payback' Caused More Than 550 Hours Of Composite Downtime

Anonymous group caused a total of 742 service interruptions to 11 sites in 20 days

October 12, 2010

3 Min Read


ORLANDO, Fla., Oct. 11 /PRNewswire/ --PandaLabs, Panda Security's anti-malware laboratory, reports that the 'Anonymous' cyber-activist group's denial of service (DDoS) attacks against 11 various organizations across the globe have caused more than 550 hours of downtime and 742 service interruptions since their attacks began on September 17. The latest attacks that started on October 6 on the Spanish Copyright Protection Society (SGAE), the Spanish Culture Ministry and Promusicae websites have caused 119 service interruptions and more than 68 hours of downtime across the three sites.

Since the onset of the DDoS attacks, the websites longest affected have been ACS:Law, with 179 hours downtime; the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA), with 127 hours, and Aiplex Software with 123 hours.

"The popularization of this group's activities has led many users without much technical know-how to join in," said Luis Corrons, PandaLabs' director of research. "In fact, there are numerous tutorials and tools available for launching DDoS attacks across the Web. This also means that not everyone is taking the steps necessary to cover their tracks, such as hiding IPs. If there is an investigation, it would be possible to follow the trail and locate some of the protestors."

The self-proclaimed "anarchist" group known as 'Anonymous,' is comprised of activists in the defense of free P2P file-sharing and in opposition of copyright protection agencies. According to an PandaLabs' exclusive interview with the group's spokespeople, they do not consider themselves to be cyber criminals and claim that financial gain is not motivating the attacks: "To be clear, we do not condone any sort of profit from botnets or malware for that matter, but the vast majority of what is constituted as Cyber Crime can be something as simple as downloading your favorite song, instead of paying ridiculous fees for that song (which the artist will only see a fraction of)... We will keep going until we stop being angry," declared the group's organizer.

Harnessing the power of the Web to communicate with each other through Facebook, Twitter, blogs, and forms, 'Operation Payback' is expected to continue to launch these types of attacks against current and new targets in the coming days.

For real-time updates please visit the PandaLabs blog:

About PandaLabs

Since 1990, its mission has been to detect and eliminate new threats as rapidly as possible to offer our clients maximum security. To do so, PandaLabs has an innovative automated system that analyzes and classifies thousands of new samples a day and returns automatic verdicts (malware or goodware). This system is the basis of Collective Intelligence, Panda Security's new security model which can even detect malware that has evaded other security solutions.

Currently, 99.4 percent of malware detected by PandaLabs is analyzed through this system of Collective Intelligence. This is complemented through the effort of several teams, each specialized in a specific type of malware (viruses, worms, Trojans, spyware, phishing, spam, etc), working 24/7 to provide global coverage. This translates into more secure, simpler and more resource-friendly solutions for clients.

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