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Anonymous Twitter links cause DDoS attacks

Followers are aiding unwittingly
Fri Jan 20 2012, 16:34

SECURITY VENDOR Sophos has warned Twitter users that they could be launching distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attacks by clicking on links.

The firm is warning users that a simple click on a link could be triggering a DDoS attack. It is specifically talking about hacktivist group Anonymous posting links to pastehtml.com.

Graham Cluley, senior technology consultant at Sophos said, "In the past, Anonymous has encouraged supporters to install a program called LOIC (Low Orbit Ion Cannon) which allows computers to join in an attack on a particular website, blasting it with unwanted traffic."

"This time, things are slightly different: you only have to click on a web link to launch a DDoS attack."

According to Cluley if you click on one of the links, which are probably not limited to Twitter, and don't have Javascript enabled, you will immediately flood a web site with unwanted traffic. The web site target is, of course, selected by Anonymous.

This is illegal but probably easy to get around because users are potentially unaware of what they are doing. Earlier today the group hit out after the web site Megaupload was shut down by the authorities, targeting the US Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), US Department of Justice and more.

Cluley said, "Personally I find it much easier to support users and companies blacking out their websites for a day in protest against the SOPA/PIPA legislation than launching DDoS attacks against US government websites." µ

 

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