"We will fire at anyone or anything that tries to censor WikiLeaks, including multi-billion dollar companies such as PayPal. ... The major shitstorm has begun."
That's the message currently posted by the hacker group calling themselves "Anonymous", as part of what they call "Operation Payback".
The group has already reportedly succeeded in taking down both MasterCard and Visa's servers following the two corporations freezing the credit card transactions of WikiLeaks.
Earlier, according to RAW STORY, Anonymous issued a statement which read:
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.
What appears to be the first real and serious --- at least the first known and serious --- "all-out cyber war", as Secure Computing Magazine is now calling it, seems to be underway. In this case, however, it wasn't the hackers or even a foreign government who appear to have fired the first shots, but the U.S. Government who did so via apparently successful tactics used to intimidate both Amazon and PayPal into cutting off service to WikiLeaks, the international media organization which has leaked thousands of classified U.S. documents, but has been charged with breaking absolutely no U.S. laws.
The entire episode reveals a number of very serious concerns, and at least one that may not be quite as obvious...