WikiLeaks Supporters Crush Mastercard, Threaten Twitter and Visa

Bob Styran, IT audit expert
December 09, 2010 /

Few days after several money transfer and electronic payments websites (PayPal, Visa, Mastercard) have withdrawn their services to Wikileaks, known as a whistleblowing website, a series of distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks began hampering operations of Mastercard in some areas like Geneva and other parts of the globe, allegedly perpetrated by ‘hacktivists’ supporting Julian Assange, Wikileaks founder.

Mastercard’s web portal was unavailable and could not be accessed by citizens in Geneva, said Anon Operation in its Twitter account. This is confirmed by editorial staff in Geneva on December 09, 2010 15:32 GMT.

A group of hackers that began launching DDoS attacks against entities that withdrew services to the whistleblowing website. Allegedly under DDoS attacks for cutting off payments to Wikileaks, Mastercard suffered the same fate Paypal’s blog site had earlier this week.

Andreas Fink , CEO of WikiLeaks processing company – DataCell, believes, that “Visa is under political pressure to close us down” and asked Mastercard and Visa stay avay from politics and do what they have to do – “transfer money”.

“We strongly believe a world-class company such as Visa should not get involved in politics and just simply do their business where they are good at [sic]. Transferring money.”

Other DDoS attacks are also currently being reported on Twitter to be launched against other sites like Visa and Twitter – for suspension of the Group account.

PostFinance, a post office banking service in Switzerland, has also encountered DDoS attacks from Anon Operation, in the form of ‘Operation Payback’ that could block and overload its connections, after it closed the bank account of Assange for the false address he provided.

Alan Bentley, international sales senior vice president of Lumension Security Inc., a provider of operational endpoint security software solutions worldwide, said the DDoS attacks were not surprising given the extensive connection of Wikileaks with the hacker community.

Bentley said he has strong feelings that the DDoS attacks on Mastercard would set the starting point for a series of other attacks against the other companies that withdrew services to Wikileaks like Amazon and Swiss Bank. He added that these companies would likely start scaling up their security measures to ward off DDoS attacks expected from similar hackers.


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