Pro-WikiLeaks Hackers' Latest Target: PayPal

12/09/2010 02:29 pm ET | Updated May 25, 2011

UPDATE: A PayPal spokesperson contacted The Huffington Post to note that according to api-status.com, PayPal's API is fully operational and has not suffered any downtime. The was an attack on api.paypal.com, however.

The spokesperson added that PayPal started receiving distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks on Monday and that they have been continuing since. "They may have slowed the website down for a bit," the spokesperson said, but he added that payments have not been affected.

PayPal said in a statement:

The PayPal.com site is fully operational. We can confirm that there have been multiple attempted DDoS attacks on paypal.com this week. We have also experienced an attack on api.paypal.com today. Attacks may slow the website itself down for a short while, but they have not significantly impacted payments.

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The pro-WikiLeaks hacker group Anonymous seems to have launched a cyber-attack aimed at disabling PayPal's API, making the website api.paypal.com inacessible.

Anonymous launched a campaign, Operation Payback, targeting "major anti-piracy & anti-freedom entities." MasterCard, Visa, Amazon, Joe Lieberman, and Sarah Palin are among those who have been victim to cyberattacks launched by the activist hacker group.

"Target is: api.paypal.com _Status: seems to be down :) Instructions: http://pastehtml.com/view/1c8i33u.html #ddos #payback #wikileaks," Anonymous' Operation Payback Twitter account, @Op_Payback, tweeted at around 1PM ET.

Disabling PayPal's API can interfere with partner sites' ability to process PayPal transactions.

PayPal cut off WikiLeaks' money flow and blocked the account the organization had been using to collect donations, a move the company said was precipitated by action taken by the U.S. State Department.