Spain's copyright society (SGAE) came under attack by hacktivists from Anonymous on Thursday as part of the latest phase of a high-profile campaign against organisations that hassle file-sharers.
A distributed denial of service attack, officially launched at midnight (Central European Time) on 7 October , crashed the organisation's website on Wednesday even before it even officially began. The assault is a repeat of tactics previously used against the websites of Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA), the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) and UK law firm ACS:Law, among others.
Spanish security firm Panda Security estimates 200 Spaniards are among the 700 protesters flooding the SGAE's sgae.es website with useless traffic, much of its generated using LOIC (Low Orbit Ion Cannon) DDoS software. Another Spanish entertainment industry site, promusicae.es, is also down as a result of the same traffic flooding tactics.
The loosely organised group, which traces its origins back to the notorious 4chan image board, is running the ongoing Operation "Payback: is a bitch" in response to legal threats towards BitTorrent tracker sites such as The Pirate Bay as well as individual file-sharers. The group justifies its denial of service tactics against targeted websites by saying they are the same as those earlier adopted by an Indian firm hired by the Bollywood film industry.
Luis Corrons, technical director of PandaLabs, explained: "We have been in contact with SGAE to advise them of the proposed attack. The way things are progressing, it will be no surprise to see cyber protests organised country by country targeting different copyright protection associations."
Panda is tracking the progress of the attacks, as well as the amount of downtime of targeted sites, via its corporate blog here. ®