Skip to main content

Anonymous and LulzSec call for PayPal boycott

The computer hacking group Anonymous issued a joint statement with LulzSec on Wednesday encouraging users of PayPal to close their accounts in protest at the arrest in the US last week of 16 alleged members of Anonymous.

Of the 16, 14 are suspected of being connected with the denial-of-service attacks on PayPal late last year, which followed the online money-transfer site’s decision to suspend the account of Wikileaks.  The whistle-blowing website was described in the joint statement as “a beacon of truth in these dark times.” More arrests in relation to cyberattacks were made on the same day in the UK and the Netherlands.

Related Videos

The statement said that members of Anonymous and LulzSec were “outraged at the FBI’s willingness to arrest and threaten those who are involved in ethical, modern cyber operations.” It continued: “Many of the already-apprehended Anons are being charged with taking part in DDoS attacks against corrupt and greedy organizations, such as PayPal.”

The statement suggests PayPal users take their business elsewhere: “We encourage anyone using PayPal to immediately close their accounts and consider an alternative. The first step to being truly free is not putting one’s trust into a company that freezes accounts when it feels like, or when it is pressured by the U.S. government. PayPal’s willingness to fold to legislation should be proof enough that they don’t deserve the customers they get. They do not deserve your business, and they do not deserve your respect.”

It asks those who act upon its suggestion to “tweet pictures of your account closure, tell us on IRC, spread the word. Anonymous has become a powerful channel of information, and unlike the governments of the world, we are here to fight for you. Always.”

Various retweets appearing on the AnonymousIRC Twitter page suggested some people were already closing their accounts: “account has been closed and money given to charity” tweeted one. “Closed my paypal account and donated the $10 I had to the Red Cross,” tweeted another.

With the statement being issued only a few hours ago, it’s too early to say whether it’s going to snowball into something big. If it does, it’ll be interesting to see how PayPal responds as business melts away. We’ll keep you posted.

Editors' Recommendations

Anonymous hackers plead guilty to 2010 PayPal hack
anonymous hackers paypal attack wikileaks guilty plea costs trapwire system

Back in 2010, hackers associated with Anonymous, the mysterious hacker-activist collective, attacked online payment service PayPal for suspending accounts associated with WikiLeaks. The whistleblower organization that first caught the world's attention earlier that year, WikiLeaks did so by publishing a massive amount of secret government documents. As a response to PayPal's move, 13 Anonymous hackers launched DDoS attacks on PayPal. 
In the story's latest twist, those hackers entered guilty pleas in a California federal court.
Of the 13 who entered pleas, 10 pleaded guilty to a felony charge, while the other three accepted misdemeanor charges. The Anonymous hackers who pleaded to a felony will be able to have that charge lessened to a misdemeanor next year, as long as they don't violate their agreement, the U.S. attorney's office said.
Though many are arguably not shedding any tears for the hackers, one important figure hoped that they would receive a lighter sentence: Pierre Omidyar, the founder of eBay, which owns PayPal. 
"I can understand that the protesters were upset by PayPal's actions and felt that they were simply participating in an online demonstration of their frustration," Omidyar said. "That is their right, and I support freedom of expression, even when it's my own company that is the target." 
Omidyar recently made news for the forthcoming launch of a new media venture, for which he hired Glenn Greenwald, the Guardian columnist who broke the story of NSA documents leaked by former government contractor Edward Snowden.
At this point, the hackers have been released on bail, and their sentencing hearings are scheduled for late 2014.

Read more
LulzSec, Anonymous hacker gets a decade in the slammer
anonymous hacker gets decade slammer jeremy hammond

Thinking of joining the ranks of hacker-activist groups like Anonymous or LulzSec? This might discourage you.
A federal judge just brought the hammer down on Jeremy Hammond (pictured above), a prominent Anonymous and LulzSec hacker. Hammond was sentenced to a decade in prison by by Chief US District Judge Loretta A. Preska, who punished Hammond for his computer hacking guilty plea with the maximum sentence permissible under the law.
Hammond was caught hacking into and stealing information from Strategic Forecasting, a global intelligence firm, which "Provides strategic intelligence on global business, economic, security and geopolitical affairs" according to its website. Hammond's defense claims that the information leaked as a result of his hacking efforts revealed that the U.S. government hired Strategic Forecasting to spy on activists. However, Hammond and those associated with him ended up publishing email addresses and credit card numbers. The credit card numbers were used to make illegal purchases worth $700,000.
The ten year sentence that Hammond will now serves is one of the strongest sentences issued to any hacktivist. It will be interesting to see whether Preska's ruling will result in a decrease in such activity on the part of Anonymous and LulzSec. However, it's worth noting that the death penalty is hardly a deterrent against crime. Prohibition also didn't stop the flow of alcohol either.
Image credit:

Read more
Digital Trends looks back on 2011
goodbye 2011

It's been quite a year. From the hype and eventual disappointment over the iPhone 5, rise of the hacker, digital corporate missteps, and the powerful role social media assumed, we look back on a few of the more poignant moments that shaped 2011. 
The Facebook Revolutions spread throughout the Middle East
In the late Winter and early Spring of 2011, a revolution that began in the Middle East and swept through Northern Africa and parts of Asia found its voice in none other than Facebook. Tunisia, Egypt, and Libya all relied on the power of the world’s largest social network to both connect and organize with other local demonstrators as well as make their mission known to the rest of the world. Twitter and YouTube were also incredibly crucial platforms that offered outsiders a direct portal to the citizen collectives as well as the violence they suffered. Most importantly, these efforts weren’t in vain: former Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak resigned and the revolution against Libyan dictator Muammar Gaddafi ended in his death.—Molly McHugh, Staff Writer; digital photography, social media
Japan’s earthquake and tsunami
When a natural disaster hits, it rallies the people around the world to help contribute with the rebuilding.  The effects are devastating, but in time, the wounds created by the disaster heal.  But when the earthquake and tsunami hit Japan earlier this year, it may have left a mark that our friends in Japan may never fully recover from.  The affects were immediate and global. The world watched as what is arguably most technologically sophisticated culture on the planet documented its own destruction. Plus, beyond the minor global issues caused by the devastation--petty things like delayed manufacturing--the disaster may also have forever changed the way the world looks at nuclear energy. It’s a humbling reminder that no matter where or when, no matter how rich or powerful a nation may be, nothing can compare--or prepare--for the destructive power of nature. The recovery efforts in Japan continue and the Japanese people will thrive and adapt, but their society may never be the same.—Ryan Fleming, Associate Editor; gaming
Hackers cripple Sony’s PlayStation Network
April 20 is the anniversary of a lot of bad things: Adolf Hitler's birthday, the disastrous Bay of Pigs invasion, the Columbine High School massacre, the Deepwarter Horizon oil well explosion. This year's catastrophe: the complete shutdown of Sony's PlayStation Network and Qriocity services, which jeopardized credit card info and other private data of 77 million gamers worldwide, and resulted in more than $170 million in damages. Problems for Sony started after their system was breached twice, once on April 17 and again on April 19. On April 20, the now-infamous PSN shutdown began, and lasted for 23 long days. Sony blamed members of hacktivist collective Anonymous for the cyberattack, a charge the loose-knit group vehemently denied. Tim Schaaff, president of Sony Network Entertainment, later described the crippling of the PSN a "great learning experience."—Andrew Couts, Staff Writer; Internet and Web
The rise (and fall) of LulzSec
Just when the Internet seemed to lose the last tinge of the Wild West flavor that made it a haven for miscreants, raging nerds and social outcasts in the 90s, LulzSec came out of nowhere to this summer to reaffirm that they’re all still among us. While they may be quietly seething under the new commercial landscape of companies like Facebook, Google and Amazon, they’re not afraid to come out at night, kick over garbage cans, crap on doorsteps and graffiti walls. Or, you know, hack police departments in Arizona, the U.S. senate and the CIA. Whether you thought LulzSec exploits amounted to immature pranks or cyber activism, you’ve got to hand it to them for stepping up past the tomfoolery most of us dabbled in at that age. (Topiary, an alleged leader of LulzSec arrested in the UK, was only 18.) To the gentleman of LulzSec, we tip our MSPainted top hats to you. May the curse of calculus homework nor the touch of womankind ever lure you from your sacred work.—Nick Mokey, Associate Editor
HP axes WebOS and PC division, fires CEO, then reinstates WebOS and PC division
Hewlett Packard went through a difficult transition this year. After promising that all of its computers would soon integrate WebOS, the company released the HP TouchPad to disappointing sales and reviews. What did HP do at the first sign of failure? CEO Leo Apotheker decided to jettison WebOS and shut down the #1 PC manufacturer's PC division... to instead focus on business services and printers. A couple weeks later and the HP board had ousted Apotheker and installed former eBay CEO Meg Whitman as the new Chief of HP. After more than a month of intense thought and careful deliberation, Whitman made two easy decisions: keep HP's profitable and industry leading PC division and turn WebOS into an open source platform.—Jeffrey Van Camp, Staff Writer; mobile and tablets
Netflix takes a dive off the deep end
It has been a rough year for Netflix. The company’s looming presence in the streaming media marketplace was already slipping as it faced strengthening competition from the likes of Amazon and Hulu and dealt with the costs of serving up high-bandwidth video to an aggressively expanding audience. In an effort to deal with these issues, Netflix changed their pricing structure and jacked up their rates, infuriating its customers in the process. But it was Netflix CEO Reed Hastings' blog post and email two months after the rate hikes that seems to have sent the company into a seemingly unrecoverable tailspin. After pouring his heart out to customers, Hastings reluctantly announced Quikster, the new name for Netflix’s mail-based movie and game service. After further subsequent backlash, Netflix back-pedaled and Quikster was gone as suddenly as it came. As if that wasn’t damning enough, we also learned that Netflix’s deal with Starz, which provides most of the service’s desirable content, would be over in February 2012. As a result of all this mess, it is reported that Netflix has lost over 800,000 subscribers in Q3 of this year. We now find ourselves wondering if Netflix can pull out of this downward spiral to maintain a strong position in what has become an extremely competitive service space.— Caleb Denison, Staff Writer; TV/home audio
Apple does not introduce the iPhone 5 (and the world collectively wept)
For Apple fans, October 4th, 2011 couldn’t come fast enough. The date seemed to approach at a snail’s pace though, while eager iPhone fans and industry enthusiast speculated on the impending awesomeness that was to be the iPhone 5. Rumored specs, fake Chinese cases, and even phony reviews sprang up all over the internet, but when the event unfolded in Cupertino, California the long awaited iPhone 5 was nowhere to be found, instead, we were introduced to the letter S and a funny sounding virtual assistant named Siri.—Amir Iliaifar, Editorial Assistant
Steve Jobs dies
Just the day after the announcement of the iPhone 4S, former Apple CEO Steve Jobs passed away after a long fight with cancer. October 5, 2011 was a sad day for anyone who loves the tech world. Whether you are an Apple fan or not, it's hard to deny the fact that Steve Jobs changed the way all of us think about and use technology. His huge influence in the introduction of the iPod, iPhone, and iPad revolutionized mobile technology, and the products that Apple created with Jobs at the helm made life and the use of technology a lot easier for millions, including myself. It was sad to lose such a prominent figure in the tech world, but it was even more tragic to wonder what he might have come up with should his life not met such an untimely end.—Kelly Montgomery, Staff Writer; lifestyle

Read more