Society

'Anonymous' Hackers Bring Down Justice Dept. Website, Others

| by Michael Allen

On Thursday, after the FBI shut down one of the most popular file-sharing websites, MegaUpload.com, hacktivists with the online 'Anonymous' movement took credit for crashing multiple websites including: U.S. Department of Justice, Universal Music Group, Recording Industry Association of America, Motion Picture Association of America, U.S Copyright Office site, record label BMI and the French copyright authority HADOPI.

The websites were subjected to a distributed denial of service attack (DDoS) by Anonymous hackers who flooded the sites with Internet traffic to exceed their bandwidth and knock them offline.

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On Twitter, the Justice Department tweeted after going offline: “The DOJ web server hosting justice.gov is experiencing a significant increase in activity, resulting in a degradation in service. The department is working to ensure the website is available while we investigate the origins of this activity which is being treated as a malicious act until we can fully identify the root cause of the disruption.”

MegaUpload.com, which had more than 150 million registered users, was shut down by the FBI because of alleged copyright infringement despite the fact that it claimed to comply with copyright infringement notices. MegaUpload.com allowed registered users to upload files, which could be downloaded by others.

MegaUpload.com also charged "members" a fee for "fast downloads" prompting the Justice Department to state: “In exchange for payment, (MegaUpload.com) provides fast reproduction and distribution of infringing copies of copyrighted works from its servers located around the world."