Anonymous' latest distributed denial of service revenge attack on the FBI is its largest to date, says the collective.
The FBI DDoS attack came as a part of a wider campaign designed to protest the US government ordered shutdown of media-sharing site Megaupload.com. Following the attacks initial statement, the collective issued a fresh claim via its AnonymousIRC Twitter feed claiming the DDoS was its largest ever.
"Yesterday was epic. The Largest Attack Ever by #Anonymous - 5,600 People Confirmed. #Megaupload +INFO >> goo.gl/i1rUw," read the tweet.
DDoS attacks work by overloading a website with requests to the point that it stalls and is rendered offline - the equivalent of spamming a site to death. The attacks effectiveness is directly proportional to the number of requests being fired at the network - meaning that while there are computer programmes that aid the attack, the more people participating, the more potentially damaging the assault will be.
Since Anonymous issued its claim, analysts have come to question whether all the "participants" in the attack were aware of what they were doing. Sophos analyst Graham Cluley issued his own report suggesting the collective was covertly recruiting individuals to unwillingly aid its cause:
If true, then the tactic would mean Anonymous hackers were tricking unwitting users into committing a crime punishable with "lengthy" jail sentences in certain territories.
Since the FBI DDoS the collective has mounted further assaults on its hit list, which also includes; justice.gov, universalmusic.com, riaa.org, mpaa.org, copyright.gov, hadopi.fr, wmg.com, usdoj.gov and bmi.com. Most recently the collective took credit for attacks on the US Department of Justice and MGM.
"US Department of Justice usdoj.gov TANGO DOWN. Cause ur doing sh**s b****s. #Megaupload #Anonymous #Eatc**k" read Anonymous' tweet. With the collective later following: "buy MGM s**ts..oh wait.. shop.mgm.com Tango Down... cause u suck #Megaupload #Anonymous."
Anonymous' rampage started after the US Justice Department filed an indictment forcing the Megaupload.com site to be shutdown and calling for the arrest of its founders. The charges against Megaupload's founders currently include racketeering conspiracy, money laundering and plotting to commit copyright infringement.