A botnet is nothing more than thousands and thousands of networked computers following the instructions of a single remote authority. The machines tend to be running Windows and, conventionally, their owners are unaware that they are involved. During a Distributed Denial-of-Service (DDoS) attack, each computer in the botnet repeatedly performs a simple task like pinging a web server somewhere else on the net.
Given a sufficiently large botnet, the server is so overwhelmed that no one can access any of the websites that it hosts.
As far as I can tell, botnet participants usually join up accidently while flailing around in search of pr0n (or buying a computer in China.) During today’s DDoS attacks on Visa and Mastercard, however, it looks like a significant number of people voluntarily added their machines to the botnet.
Outrage through outtage? This-what-democracy-looks-like.com?
Barlow says “we’re all footsoldiers in this war” but we should resist war-like metaphors. Anons are not risking their lives when they “get behind the proxy” and join the DDoS attack on Visa. It’s a trap: no one but the U.S. government ever wins a War on Whatever.
This is about the failure of private institutions to steward our popular culture. But what makes us think they would? Will Soundcloud take down Assange’s old dubstep mixes?
We really need an anthem, Dutty Artz! What’s the sound of a volunteer botnet?
just last night i thought to myself, ‘what does lone wolf think of all this?’
its fascinating how relevant music is to all this activity/fallout, e.g. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Operation_Payback#RIAA_attack
most definitely! also, the leaked cables reveal the extent to which U.S. diplomacy is driven by the interests of a handful of enormo entertainment industries:
“According to an unreleased US Embassy cable in possession of Swedish Television, the US pressure on Sweden to deal with file-sharing issues continued in the years that followed. In the cable, which dates back to 2008, the US Embassy presented a list of six items that they wanted to see addressed, all related to online copyright infringement.
A year later, five of these six items were indeed turned into action, including the appointment of more copyright police and prosecutors, backed up by educational anti-piracy campaigns.”
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