As you will probably know, as a consequence of the takedown of the famous storage site Megaupload and the consequent indictment and arrest of seven people (all accused of online piracy), the Anonymous have launched #OpMegaUpload, a giant DDoS attack defined “The biggest Internet attack ever” targeting, among the others: The White House, the FBI, Viacom and DoJ, (at this link a complete list of the targets). As a consequence, last night the LOIC cannons have shot once again, leading to a global fluctuation of the global Internet traffic is between 13 percent and 14 percent above normal.
Unfortunately it looks like that many habitual Megaupload users turned themselves into extemporaneous wannabe hackers, giving their contribution to this questionable cause: equipped with the Low Orbit Ion Cannon they started to fire against the designated targets. By midnight on January 20th, @AnonOps declared the operation a success with over 5,635 people using the Low Orbit Ion Cannon to bring down the targeted sites:
Curiously the night of January the 20th, my blog was flooded with an unusual number of requests coming from search engines looking for several strings with a common pattern. Scrolling down the Search engine terms list directed to my blog (ordered in rigorous ascending order), you may easily guess the common pattern:
using loic arrested
arrested for using loic
is using loic dangerous
can we be arrested for loic
risk of using loic
may i be arrested for using loic
arresting people for using loic
how to safely use loic
being arrested because of loic
can you be arrested for useing loic
anonymous loic safe
can i be arrested for using loic
loic not safe
danger of using loic
may i be arrested for using #loic
Yes, unfortunately it looks like that too many people have decided to use the Megaupload shutdown as the trigger for an improvised career of hackers, considering LOIC as a kind of magic wand capable of turning anyone into a hacker in few minutes. Maybe Several of these “wannabe hackers” were not that stupid and wondered if their action might have legal consequences. For those, the fundamental question and age-old dilemma is: “Is LOIC dangerous?”
Since I already dealt with this topic in a couple of posts during the hot summer of the Lulz Boat, their googling brought them to my blog. For sure this morning, before understanding what had happened during the night (in Italy) I was surprised by the unusual number of clicks for the two articles concerning LOIC, which you may read (No One has ever been arrested for using LOIC and Someone has been arrested for using LOIC), if you just need an answer (or maybe you do not need since the title of the latter is meaningful enough).
But please consider the fact that the fundamental question is not if using LOIC is dangerous or not, but rather “if I should play to be a hacker or not”, and the answer is quite straightforward…
BTW, I gave my humble contribution to the #SOPAblackout but, whether or not I agree with the Megaupload shutdown, I absolutely do not agree and do not support similar methods of protest.
- Anonymous Launches Largest Attack Ever Following Megaupload Closure (techfleece.com)