Operation Payback has lived up to its title so far. The Operation Payback mission has gone pretty well for pro-WikiLeaks hackers, but not so well for their targets – or for those that use them. Over the last several days, many companies have pulled their support from WikiLeaks, which has put their financial status in jeopardy. Without alliances with Paypal, Amazon, Visa, MasterCard and more, the site may not be able to afford the good fight. However, Operation Payback kicked off last night to teach those companies a lesson – although others are feeling the pinch as well.
Hackers helped slow WikiLeaks down to such an extent that they had to move their domain. But yesterday, hackers carried out a similar attack on WikiLeaks’ former business associates, as they slowed down Internet service for Paypal, MasterCard, Visa and more.
In addition, Operation Payback targeted individuals, as Sarah Palin and Joe Lieberman had their Internet pages targeted. Twitter was flooded with messages, as was Facebook, although both sites tried to shut down the hackers’ own pages as well.
But the impact has already been felt beyond the Internet, as millions are already caught in the crossfire. With MasterCard and Visa’s websites shut down, their users found it harder to use services. In addition, those who use Paypal to transfer and receive money – including those on this website – could not receive any new payments, or move their existing ones.
Thanks to Operation Payback, people who were not directly involved in the cyberwar have been caught in the crossfire now. For this author and others on this site, their bonus money from last month is now stranded in cyberspace. In addition, those who use MasterCard and Visa might have a harder time using them to transfer money,
Yet the greatest mission of all might still be on the horizon, as indications are that Amazon is the next target. If they shut that site down, as they did to Paypal, MasterCard and Visa, those who are still making important Christmas purchases might be out of luck. In fact, if this war goes on for an extended period of time, it could throw off many Christmas shoppers.
Those kind of results could make Operation Payback blow back in WikiLeaks’ face before long, if they haven’t already. If this continues, many citizens who had nothing to do with the current conflict will feel a financial pinch. The hackers likely want them to blame the companies for dropping WikiLeaks, and for not protecting their freedom of speech – but others could lay the blame on the hackers themselves.
In any case, those who didn’t feel personally affected by the WikiLeaks scandal are fully involved now. It already isn’t safe to use Paypal, MasterCard and Visa, and now Amazon could be in danger. Will this radicalize people against the hackers for disrupting their finances, or the companies for spurring the hackers towards payback?
ABC News- “Operation Payback: Cyber Battle Erupts Over WikiLeaks”
My Fox Chicago- “WikiLeaks Supporters May Take Aim At Amazon”