Hacktivists from the loosely-banded Anonymous took out the UK Intellectual Property Office and a Portuguese music industry website over the weekend during the latest phase of an ongoing campaign against the entertainment industry.
The ipo.gov.uk and acapor.pt were both rendered inaccessible by floods of spurious traffic in the latest phase of Operation: Payback is a bitch. The campaign is a response by activists to attempts by the entertainment industry to attack file-sharing and torrent tracker sites.
The campaign was sparked off by outrage over the appointment of a tech firm hired gun in India by the Bollywood entertainment industry. Aiplex Software said it was prepared to launch DDoS attacks at Torrent tracker sites that ignored its legal nastygrams.
Cue outrage on 4chan and the launch of reprisal attacks, which have previously affected the MPAA, RIAA and (most notoriously) law firm ACS:Law. The UK-based solicitors' email database was exposed during ham-fisted attempts to restore the site following a secondary denial of service attack partially provoked by ACS:Law's dismissive response to the first wave of attacks.
Panda Security has maintained a detailed scorecard showing the targets of attack, and the resulting site downtimes, in a blog post here.
Sources suggest that the ipo.gov.uk tried pointing its DNS records towards known anonymous servers. However, this attempt to reflect the attack failed to do much good and the IPO's site remained inaccessible on Monday morning.
Meanwhile, in possibly related news, a hack attack on hosting provider Reality Check Network (RCN) took out several Torrent tracker sites over the weekend. TorrentReactor and other torrent tracker sites were taken offline after an intruder hacked into servers at RCN and corrupted the Master Boot Records of several servers, TorrentFreak reports. The process of restoring the sites from backups is only expected to reach completion later on Monday. ®