If you have not followed the events this weekend where a group of users from 4Chan decided that it was appropriate to take out the MPAA, RIAA and AiPlex using a simple DDoS tool called LOIC, there is an interesting dynamic that as Panda Security says “Is the future of cyber protests”.
Hactivism has been with us almost since the dawn of the internet – there are always ways to protest things anyone does not like on the internet. This weekends 4 chan event though with a DDoS against RIAA, MPAA, and AiPlex in the traditional sense is really nothing new. The RIAA and others have been DDoS’d in the past with the same similar effect that their web site goes down until people get bored and go somewhere else. What is surprising is not so much that another hactivism protest is happening, but how it has been coordinated carefully to a simple date and time. With other protests, the coordination has been very loose, this time it was much more focused, not just with IP addresses to take out, but the exact date and time in which to start the protest.
It is interesting thought that Panda Security is dubbing this the “cyber protest of the future” because in many ways it is as effective as any other protest out there. Limited duration damage that can be somewhat effectively countermeasure against as a protest mechanism is ok but it seemed to be of limited effectiveness. The targets are low priority systems (honestly according to Compete.com I get more traffic than the RIAA and MPAA web sites combined just on this one blog) so the effectiveness of the protest falls under nuisance level for the ISP rather than worrying about how much traffic those two are losing in the weekend protest.
I am not saying that 4Chan is wrong here, but what I am wondering is why the symbolic protest and not one that would have hit harder and have been more effective in slowing down RIAA operations. AiPlex which is in Bangalore India, their activity falls under the Information Technology law of 2000 that covers all of India. Specifically it looks like AiPlex falls under at least two provisions that would get them into a lot of trouble. As Torrent Freak mentions – the lawsuit is of more interest than the DDoS especially with such low value properties as the web servers for the RIAA and MPAA.
Cyber Protests have their place, but in terms of law, it would have been much for effective to hire a lawyer on commission and do a court test of the India Cyber laws against AiPlex along with RIAA and MPAA.
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- 4chan to DDoS RIAA Next – Is This the Protest of the Future? (torrentfreak.com)
- Hackers hit Hollywood’s piracy watchdog (reuters.com)
- Protest or a declaration of war? (nowpublic.com)
- Denial Of Service Attacks On RIAA & MPAA Are A Really Dumb Idea (techdirt.com)
(Cross-posted @ Managing Intellectual Property & IT Security)