Operation: Payback’s Facebook and Twitter accounts shut down


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Operation: Payback, after claiming to have shut down Visa and MasterCard’s websites, has been shut down itself -- on Facebook and Twitter, anyway.

The hacker group Anonymous, which was behind the Operation: Payback campaign against the two credit card companies, used Twitter and Facebook to claim responsibility for users being temporarily unable to access or at midday Wednesday.


On both social media websites, Anonymous promoted Operation: Payback, stating that it was going to crash both credit card websites because they stopped accepting donations for WikiLeaks. The credit card companies stopped doing business with WikiLeaks after that site began releasing thousands of secret U.S. diplomatic documents.

The group said on both Facebook and Twitter that it was using a distributed denial of service attack, also known as a DDOS attack, to bring the two credit card sites down.

DDOS attacks overload a website’s servers by sending an inordinate amount of requests for information that results in a site being unable to operate.

By Wednesday afternoon, Anonymous said on its Twitter account that its Operation: Payback Facebook page had been suspended.

Shortly thereafter, the Operation: Payback Twitter page was suspended, too. But, by about 4:30, Anonymous had launched a new Twitter account.

Twitter officials could not be reached for comment, but Facebook spokesman Andrew Noyes e-mailed this statement:


“We take our Statement of Rights and Responsibilities seriously and react quickly to reports of inappropriate or illegal content and behavior. In this case, we removed a page because it was promoting a DDOS attack.

“Additional point: The WikiLeaks page on Facebook does not violate our policies and remains up. We haven’t received any official requests to disable it, nor any notification that the articles posted on the page contain unlawful content.”

[Updated 5:15 p.m.: Twitter said in a statement that it does not comment on actions taken against specific user accounts.]


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-- Nathan Olivarez-Giles