ISPs Raided in Anonymous DDoS Investigations

Law enforcement agencies in the United States and Germany have raided a number of Internet Services Providers in hopes of tracking down hackers who launched distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks against websites such as Visa.com, Mastercard.com and Paypal.com earlier this month.

The Smoking Gun website posted documents in which the Federal Bureau of Investigations describe the complex path its investigation has taken as it has searched for the computers that served as a central meeting point for the attacks.

According to the documents, after Germany’s Federal Criminal Police raided service provider Host Europe, they linked one of the IRC servers to Tailor Made Services in Dallas. Two hard drives were seized from Tailor Made Services on December 16, the Smoking Gun website reports. It was also mentioned that another IRC server has been traced to Fremont, California’s Hurricane Electric.

The early-December attacks were part of a campaign called “Operation Payback”, which attempted to put pressure on companies that had severed ties with WikiLeaks after it began publishing classified U.S. Department of State cables. Operation Payback was the work of a group who called themselves Anonymous.

Although the attacks managed to take websites offline, they were unable to touch any of the target’s back-end transaction processing systems.

Anonymous urged volunteers to download software that flooded websites with useless Internet traffic, ultimately leading to them coming to a grinding stop.

Other websites targeted by the group included that of Sarah Palin and the Swedish Prosecutor’s Office.

The FBI investigation was initiated on the 9th of December when Paypal laid a complaint with them and provided them with the Internet Protocol addresses of eight IRC servers used by Anonymous.

On the 9th of December, Dutch Police made its first arrest of a 16-year-old boy in connection with the attacks.

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