Saturday, January 12, 2013

Anonymous opens 'We the People' online petition asking U.S. to legalize DDoS attacks

Don't hold your breath, Anonymous. According to a Wednesday CNET report, the loosely knit hacker group, or at least someone purporting to represent them, has opened a petition on the White House's "We the People" website, asking for DDoS (Destributed Denial of Service) attacks to be legalized.

The petition has a long way to go if it is to receive an official White House response, though. It must reach 25,000 signatures by Feb. 6, and as of the time of this writing it is more than 22,000 signatures short.
With the advance in internet techonology, comes new grounds for protesting. Distributed denial-of-service (DDoS), is not any form of hacking in any way. It is the equivalent of repeatedly hitting the refresh button on a webpage. It is, in that way, no different than any "occupy" protest. Instead of a group of people standing outside a building to occupy the area, they are having their computer occupy a website to slow (or deny) service of that particular website for a short time.

As part of this petition, those who have been jailed for DDoS should be immediately released and have anything regarding a DDoS, that is on their "records", cleared.
To those in the technology community, some of that makes sense. To perform a DDoS attack, one need not even use a browser on a webpage, but instead use the pre-built Low-Orbit Ion Cannot tool along with an appropriate IP address, and just start it running.

For that reason, those who perform such DDoS attacks have been called "script kiddies" by some other hackers, referring to them using tools and scripts to attack sites, rather than an actual attack, such as hacking into a network and stealing data.

That doesn't mean, though, that such attacks aren't harmful to the site attacked. It is therefore hard to say that such an attack is analogous to a peaceful "occupy" protest.

Whether or Anonymous gets the seal of approval of the White House, the group seems to be starting out 2013 quickly. An offshoot group recently revealed a lot of hidden background information in the Steubenville rape case. Earlier this month, Anonymous also announced, "Expect us [in] 2013," and said that it had no plans of slowing down its efforts.

That assurance came on the heels of a McAfee report which predicted a lessening of the significance of Anonymous.

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