Blogging site Tumblr was knocked offline on Monday by the denizens of 4Chan, which was briefly floored itself during a tit-for-tat dispute that has recently escalated into open hacking attacks by both sides.
Users of 4chan came together to launch a denial of service attack against Tumblr in response to gripes that the site was encroaching on its turf. 4chan is noted as the birthplace of numerous internet memes, such as rickrolling, as well as being a repository for weird smut and the birthplace of the Anonymous attacks against the Church of Scientology and the ongoing campaign against the entertainment industry over its harassment of file-sharers and torrent tracker sites, such as The Pirate Bay.
Tumblr, by contrast, is a far cuddlier online hangout, better known for pictures of kittens than midget pr0n. Nonetheless, 4chan denizens have an apparently long standing dislike of the site. After previously trolling its forums, 4chan members organised a denial of service attack against Tumblr using the same Low Orbit Ion Cannon (LOIC) packet flooding tool previously deployed against the websites of the RIAA, ACS:Law and others.
The attack was scheduled to begin on Sunday and codenamed Operation Overload. In response, Tumblr users launched a counteroffensive - cheekily named Overkitten, involving spamming the notorious /b/ 4chan image board with images of fluffy cats, as well as attempts to otherwise disrupt 4Chan with hacking attacks.
This brave but ultimately perhaps unwise response temporarily took 4chan offline before an even more powerful attack floored Tumblr, which remains unavailable at the time of writing on Monday afternoon. 4chan, by contrast, was only briefly affected.
Techchrunch has more background on the dispute here. ®