We use cookies to provide you with a better experience. If you continue to use this site, we'll assume you're happy with this. Alternatively, click here to find out how to manage these cookies

hide cookie message
79,994 News Articles

Wikileaks supporters knock Visa.com offline

Blogger also targeted in series of attacks

A loosely organised group of internet hacktivists took down Visa's website on Wednesday, after organising a similar attack on MasterCard.

The group, called Anonymous, has been encouraging volunteers to download software called LOIC (Low Orbit Ion Cannon), which lets them centrally control these systems and direct them into a distributed denial of service attack (DDoS). The point of the attacks is to put pressure on financial companies that recently cut ties with the WikiLeaks website over its planned publication of more than a quarter million US Department of State classified cables.

After successfully knocking Mastercard.com offline, the group decided to attack Visa.com. The site was quickly knocked offline. "IT'S DOWN! KEEP FIRING!!!" the group said in a Twitter message a few minutes later.

The Mastercard website went offline when about 400 computers targeted the LOIC software at it. By the time Visa was hit, however, there were more than 2,000 people using the software, according to Paul Mutton, a security analyst with Netcraft.

Visa was a much harder target to take down, because unlike Mastercard.com, it was distributed over the Akamai Technologies network. This meant that more Visa-hosting computers had to be overwhelmed to finally knock the site offline.

A Visa representative was unable to immediately comment on the attack. WikiLeaks supporters have hit the sites of other companies that have cut ties with WikiLeaks, including payment processor PostFinance, PayPal and EveryDNS.


IDG UK Sites

45 Best Android games: top Android games for your smartphone or tablet in 2014 (24 are free!)

IDG UK Sites

How Apple, Adobe, Microsoft and others have let us down over UltraHD and hiDPI screens

IDG UK Sites

Do you have the X-Factor too? Mix Off app puts fans in the frame

IDG UK Sites

iPad Pro release date, rumours and leaked images - 12.9 screen 'coming in 2015'