MasterCard’s website was knocked offline earlier today following a WikiLeaks-inspired internet attack against it.
In what appears to be the latest salvo by hactivists, the mastercard.com website is thought to have suffered from a denial-of-service attack – where an internet site is bombarded with a large amount of traffic making it impossible for genuine visitors to access it.
A Twitter user called ibomhacktivist seems to be taking responsibility for the attack, and links the action to the WikiLeaks-inspired attack on MasterCard by the Anonymous group last year.
MasterCard.com DOWN!!!, thats what you get when you mess with @wikileaks @Anon_Central and the enter community of lulz loving individuals 😀
MasterCard angered the hacktivist community after it suspended the ability for WikiLeaks to accept payments via the firm. Police in the Netherlandsarrested two teenagers for allegedly playing their part in the attacks last year.
WikiLeaks is a subject which tends to generate strong emotions – whether you’re in favour of what the organisation stands for, or against it.
Computer users would be wise, however, to remember that even if you feel WikiLeaks is being persecuted by the authorities or abandoned by online companies, denial-of-service attacks are still illegal.
Update: The MasterCard.com website appears to be back online. It will be interesting to see if it stays up, or whether it will sporadically disappear again. Fingers crossed