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The organizers behind the anonymous group responsible for Operation:Payback are in the midst of refocusing their campaign to assist WikiLeaks in their quest to release classified government documents.

The following statement was made available on their website late Sunday afternoon:

Wikileaks have been down because of Distributed-Denial-of-Service attacks (DDoS). There are reasons to believe that The United States Of America are behind this since due to the nature of the leak on Sunday 28th November 2010, where over 251000 documents (US diplomatic cables) were published on WikiLeaks.

What is this all about? And what does it have to do with censorship and Operation Payback?

While we don’t have much of an affiliation with WikiLeaks, we fight for the same reasons. We want transparency and we counter censorship. The attempts to silence WikiLeaks are long strides closer to a world where we can not say what we think and are unable to express our opinions and ideas.

We can not let this happen. This is why our intention is to find out who is responsible for this failed attempt at censorship. This is why we intend to utilize our resources to raise awareness, attack those against and support those who are helping lead our world to freedom and democracy.

It goes on to quote Congressman Ron Paul,

“In a free society, we are supposed to know the truth. In a society where truth becomes treason, we are in big trouble.”
Ron Paul

According to the statement, the group plans to:

  • Offer WikiLeaks an additional mirror and have it Googlebombed.
  • Create counter-propaganda, organizing attacks (DDoS) on various targets related to censorship (time, date and target will be published by that time).
  • Contact media entities, inform them that Operation:Payback has come out in support of Wikileaks, and has declared war on the entities involved in censoring there information; we will seek public support in a campaign against censorship.
  • We will find and will attack those who stand against Wikileaks and we will support WikiLeaks in everything they need.

Meanwhile, the following poster announcing “Operation Avenge Assange” has been circulating on the Internet:

Operation Avenge Assange (click for full size)
Operation Avenge Assange (click for full size)

The first attack was aimed squarely at PayPal for refusing to support donations to WikiLeaks.  The DDoS attack against ThePayPalblog.com lasted for 8 hours (not including the time where the website resolved to a 403 error) and caused the blog to experience 75 service interruptions.

An Operation:Payback organizer had this to say about the new WikiLeaks initiative:

“The overall campaign is broadening focus, but that does not mean that our original initiatives have halted.  Operation:Payback is still in full effect”

This is evident by our latest DDoS statistics on Operation:Payback’s last known target, IFPI.org.  IFPI has experienced over 6 days and 160 service interruptions since the DDoS attack against the site started on 11/25.  The site goes up and down periodically, but has only recently been up for 1 hour.

It’s still unclear as to who the next target will be, but we will keep a close eye on the situation and report on any new developments.