Developers Seek to Sharpen LOIC DDoS Attack Tool

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

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Developers associated with Anonymous, the international pro-piracy and pro-WikiLeaks association of hackivists, are working to correct deficiencies in the Low Orbit Ion Cannon (LOIC) software used in recent distributed denial of service (DDoS) campaigns.

The current version of the LOIC code leaves participants vulnerable to identification by authorities, but that did not stop Anonymous organizers from making the tool available for mass download anyway.

More than 88,000 copies of the program were downloaded from the website SourceForge.net alone over a one week period. There are also mobile versions available of the tool available, so hacktivists on-the-go can join into the brouhaha.

Two Dutch teens were arrested for participating in DDoS attacks coordinated by Anonymous against sites including Visa, MasterCard, and Amazon.

What can we expect with further distribution of the LOIC tool?

Anyone with a website who manages to offend more than a few thousand people for one reason or another may find themselves the target of a DDoS attack.

Businesses, non-profit organizations, politicians, bloggers, news media, government agencies, and more could soon find themselves at the mercy of irate factions.

"When we look back years from now we'll see this as a tipping point in 'hactivism' going from largely a theoretical threat to something that's more a day-to-day issue," said Ted Julian, an analyst with the Yankee Group.

The Low Orbit Ion Cannon could well be the biggest advancement in public censorship since the advent of the public book burning.

Given the amount of effort involved in mounting long term educational campaigns that seek to shape public opinion through reasoned discourse, the LOIC seems to be a logical alternative in this, the age of instant gratification.

Hopefully the stark irony that such a tool would be spawned by the radical proponents of free speech and freedom of information will not be lost on historians.

Source:  http://www.reuters.com/article/idUSTRE6BE5LB20101215?feedType=RSS&feedName=internetNews

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