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Friday, January 20, 2012

Feds Indict File-Sharing Site, Hacked by 'Anonymous'

As the forceful public rejection of the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) and the Protect IP Act (PIPA) escalates, an increasing number of congressmen are backing down. All four Republican presidential candidates vehemently denounced the legislation at the CNN debate, with the exception of Rick Santorum. Though he expressed disapproval with the bills in their current form, he defended them to some degree. Amidst the pending legislation, the Feds issued indictments to a large file-sharing website known as Megaupload.

Via the UK Guardian:
The US government has closed down one of the world's largest filesharing websites, accusing its founders of racketeering, money laundering and presiding over "massive" online piracy.

According to prosecutors, Megaupload illegally cheated copyright holders out of $500m in revenue as part of a criminal enterprise spanning five years.

A lawyer for Megaupload told the Guardian it would "vigorously" defend itself against the charges, dismissing the criminal action as "a civil case in disguise".

News of the indictment – being framed as one of the biggest copyright cases in US history – came a day after major internet firms held a 24-hour protest over proposed anti-piracy laws.

According to a Department of Justice release, seven people associated with Megaupload were indicted by a federal grand jury earlier this month over the charges.
While this seems like something SOPA and PIPA were written to help enforce, verbiage in the two bills could allow the Justice Department to shut down sites it doesn't like (think China).

In any event, it appears that the computer hacking group known as 'Anonymous,' has attacked multiple government and media websites in response to both SOPA and the Megaupload indictments.

Via Gizmodo:
Anonymous has sure been quiet lately, but today's federal bust of Megaupload riled 'em up good: a retaliatory strike against (and plenty of other foes) leaving them completely dead. is reporting the department's site as universally nuked, and an Anonymous-affiliated Twitter account is boasting success. This is almost certainly the result of a quickly-assembled DDoS attack—and easily the widest in scope and ferocity we've seen in some time. If you had any doubts Anonymous is still a hacker wrecking ball, doubt no more.
Be sure to check out the Gizmodo link; they are providing several updates to this story. One of them includes a statement from 'Anonymous' about the attack. The Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) website was one of the sites that went down. Interestingly, the chairman of MPAA is former Connecticut Senator, Chris Dodd. The statement from Anonymous includes a list of all the sites it attacked as well as some specific personal information about Dodd.

Most of the sites appear to be back up but it's safe to say that this is getting pretty ugly.

h/t Drudge

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