Confusion over Anonymous NYSE hack
Half-hearted DDoS attack creates nuisance factor, little else
TechLife | 11 Oct 2011 :
The website of the New York Stock Exchange slowed down significantly twice on Monday afternoon, the day when the hacker group Anonymous was scheduled to launch a DDoS (distributed denial of service) attack on the website, according to an Internet and mobile cloud monitoring company.
But the attack was half-hearted and was supported by only a section of Anonymous. It also reflected the confusion that can prevail in an organization that is said not to have a centralised structure.
"We did measure the site from 10 US cities and all our measurements went south at 2:30 p.m [10.30pm GMT]," said Daniel C. Berkowitz, a spokesman at Keynote Systems in San Mateo, California.
Berkowitz said that the NYSE website became so slow between 2:30pm and 3pm Pacific Time "that for all intents and purposes it was unavailable/unusable by visitors". Keynote also observed a very severe slow-down at 12:30 that lasted one minute, about the time that Anonymous said the attack would occur.
"This did not affect trades, [but] simply the ability to get to the homepage of the New York Stock Exchange website," he added.
Keynote said it wasn't clear whether the slowing down of the NYSE site was the result of a DDoS attack.
One section of Anonymous claimed that the announcement of Operation Invade Wall Street, which threatened an attack on the NYSE site, was a plant. "It is a fake planted operation by law enforcement and cyber crime agencies in order to get you to undermine the Occupy Wall Street movement," the group said in a message on Pastebin on 4 October. The group had previously endorsed the Occupy Wall Street movement and masked members had joined public protests.
Another section within Anonymous said on Monday that the announcement had been a "high-scale media scare tactic" to lull media and government ahead of big attacks. A third group decided to go ahead with the attack. "Even though the majority does not want the operation to happen, factions of Anonymous are going for the attack," according to a comment on the original announcement on YouTube.
A spokesman for NYSE Euronext, the owners of the exchange, said that there were no disruptions to the website.
IDG News Service