Anonymous targets Virgin Media, TalkTalk

anonymousVirgin Media’s site, virginmedia.com, was still out of commission Wednesday in a presumed continuation of yesterday’s attacks by hacktivist collective Anonymous, which were launched in response to the media giant’s blocking of popular torrent site, The Pirate Bay.

Virgin Media blacked out access to the Swedish file-sharing site last week in compliance with an April 30th ruling by Britain’s High Court, which currently requires five of the UK’s largest Internet service providers to block the site.

Anonymous began a distributed denial of service (DDoS) attack at 5:00 pm BT (12:00 pm ET) on Tuesday designed to overwhelm the site’s associated computer system. As of 6:00 pm ET, virginmedia.com remains inaccessible. TalkTalk, another UK-based internet service provider included in the court order, was also forced offline Wednesday.

The Pirate Bay, which hosts “torrent” files that allow users to download or share information, has come under fire over the past three years. While file sharing is not, in of itself, an illegal activity, the site has become a hub for the exchange of copyrighted materials, and in 2009 the site’s founders, Peter Sunde, Fredrik Neij, Gottfrid Svartholm and Carl Lundström, were found guilty of promoting copyright infringement by a Swedish court. The four men were sentenced to time in prison and millions of dollars’ worth of fines and damages paid to entertainment company plaintiffs.

Despite this, The Pirate Bay doesn’t seem to be taking the block personally (possibly because this is where the founders were being incarcerated). The site issued a statement on its Facebook page yesterday denouncing Anonymous’ actions, saying: “We do NOT encourage these actions. We believe in the open and free internets, where anyone can express their views. Even if we strongly disagree with them and even if they hate us. So don’t fight them using their ugly methods. DDOS and blocks are both forms of censorship.”

Anonymous, however, posted a response on its Tumblr page saying that The Pirate Bay had missed the point of the attack:

The attacks are not simply about facilitating access to the Pirate Bay website but to stop the type of order used to block your website being used as a precedent for further censorship on the internet. The entire reason for the protest is to protect freedom of expression from being blocked without any form of judicial process. ISPs are the gateways to democracy in this technology age, to censor access to websites with such an abuse of the legal process, outside parliament our a Humans Right court is unlaw and an abuse of power.

Virgin Media is one of five internet service providers in the UK – the others being Sky, Everything Everywhere, O2 and the other targeted ISP, TalkTalk – that have been ordered by the High Court to block access to the site by this Friday. A sixth provider, BT, has requested more time to consider whether or not to comply with the court order.

Computing

AMD Radeon VII will support DLSS-like upscaling developed by Microsoft

AMD's Radeon VII has shown promise with early tests of an open DLSS-like technology developed by Microsoft called DirectML. It would provide similar upscale features, but none of the locks on hardware choice.
Computing

The Asus ZenBook 13 offers more value and performance than Apple's MacBook Air

The Asus ZenBook 13 UX333 is the latest in that company's excellent "budget" laptop line, and it looks and feels better than ever. How does it compare to Apple's latest MacBook Air?
Computing

You could be gaming on AMD’s Navi graphics card before the end of the summer

If you're waiting for a new graphics card from AMD that doesn't cost $700, you may have to wait for Navi. But that card may not be far away, with new rumors suggesting we could see a July launch.
Computing

Is AMD's Navi back on track for 2019? Here's everything you need to know

With a reported launch in 2019, AMD is focusing on the mid-range market with its next-generation Navi GPU. Billed as a successor to Polaris, Navi promises to deliver better performance to consoles, like Sony's PlayStation 5.
Computing

Cortana wants to be friends with Alexa and Google Assistant

Microsoft no longer wants to compete against Amazon's Alexa and Google's Assistant in the digital assistant space. Instead, it wants to transform Cortana into a skill that can be integrated into other digital assistants.
Computing

Microsoft leans on A.I. to resume safe delivery of Windows 10 Update

Microsoft is leaning on artificial intelligence as it resumes the automatic rollout of the Windows 10 October 2018 Update. You should start seeing the update soon now that Microsoft has resolved problems with the initial software.
Emerging Tech

Awesome Tech You Can’t Buy Yet: camera with A.I. director, robot arm assistant

Check out our roundup of the best new crowdfunding projects and product announcements that hit the web this week. You may not be able to buy this stuff yet, but it sure is fun to gawk!
Computing

Stop dragging windows on your Mac. Here's how to use Split View to multitask

The latest iterations of MacOS offer a native Split View feature that can automatically divide screen space between two applications. Here's how to use Split View on a Mac, adjust it as needed, and how it can help out.
Computing

It's not all free money. Here's what to know before you try to mine Bitcoin

Mining Bitcoin today is harder than it used to be, but if you have enough time, money, and cheap electricity, you can still turn a profit. Here's how to get started mining Bitcoin at home and in the cloud.
Computing

Need a free alternative to Adobe Illustrator? Here are our favorites

Photoshop and other commercial tools can be expensive, but drawing software doesn't need to be. This list of the best free drawing software is just as powerful as some of the more expensive offerings.
Computing

What is fixed wireless 5G? Here’s everything you need to know

Here's fixed wireless 5G explained! Learn what you need to know about this effective new wireless technology, when it's available, how much it costs, and more. If you're thinking about 5G, this guide can help!
Computing

Fix those internet dead zones by turning an old router into a Wi-Fi repeater

Is there a Wi-Fi dead zone in your home or office? A Wi-Fi repeater can help. Don't buy a new one, though. Here is how to extend Wi-Fi range with another router you have lying around.
Computing

Heal your wrist aches and pains with one of these top ergonomic mice

If you have a growing ache in your wrist, it might be worth considering ergonomic mice alternatives. But which is the best ergonomic mouse for you? One of these could be the ticket to the right purchase for you.
Gaming

These are the best indie games you can get on PC right now

Though many indie games now come to consoles as well, there's still a much larger selection on PC. With that in mind, we've created a list of the best indie games for PC, with an emphasis on games that are only available on PC.