Has Anonymous launched a new attack on the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency?
CIA.gov went down sometime on Friday afternoon, remained down for over two hours and was still down at the time of writing.
Multiple blogs have attributed the outage to to hacker-activist collective Anonymous. Silent on the matter, however, were Twitter feeds where reliable updates about Anonymous attacks are regularly posted, namely @AnonOps and @AnonymousIRC.
@YourAnonNews, which also posts news about Anoymous attacks tweeted two links, one to an IT World article and one to a Russia Today article, both of which credit Anonymous with an apparent distributed denial of service (DDoS) attack, which is carried out by overwhelming a site with traffic and temporarily forcing the site offline.
Anonymous is not known for shying away from the limelight. Last Friday, the group published an intercepted FBI conference call and went on a hacking spree -- defacing the website of the Boston Police Department, swiping data from Salt Lake City PD, published emails belonging to a Washington law firm -- and claiming credit for each attack along the way.
One day after the U.S. Department of Justice and New Zealand authorities took down popular file-sharing site MegaUpload and apprehended several of the company's executives, Anonymous retaliated with its largest-ever coordinated attack. The group brought down sites managed by the DOJ, the FBI, the Recording Industry of America, the Motion Picture Association of America, Universal Music, and others.
“This is going to happen more and more frequently—they’re unstoppable,” said Jerry Irvine, a member of the National Cyber Security Task Force told the New York Times. “Why can’t they be stopped? Because security technologies have not kept up with the extent of the vulnerabilities that exist.”
CIA.gov was still down on Saturday morning.