FBI investigating 4chan's DDoS attacks against antipiracy sites

By on November 10, 2010, 2:00 PM
The FBI is officially investigating the Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attacks that began two months ago. Operation: Payback was carried out by 4Chan's users, who call themselves "Anonymous." The attacks left behind many battered websites belonging to antipiracy and entertainment groups, as well as the US Copyright Office. Some of the smaller ones have yet to recover. The FBI didn't make a public statement, but a "source with knowledge of the probe" told CNET that the bureau may have started probing several weeks ago, and ramped up their investigation after the US Copyright Office website was hit.

Although jail time and fines are a possibility, most attackers functioned behind proxies and botnets. Since drones were doing most of the work, the FBI may have difficulty pinning the attacks on the right people.

Anonymous took down the RIAA and MPAA websites in response to actions taken by antipiracy organizations. The group also targeted others over their antipiracy efforts, including Hustler magazine, Gene Simmons, the UK's BPI, and Aiplex, an Indian company that does antipiracy work for Bollywood studios. Other similar groups in France, Australia, Spain, and elsewhere were also targeted.

Anonymous says it wants to keep all information on the Internet free and available to everyone. In other words, to them, copyright is a form censorship.





User Comments: 39

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TomSEA TomSEA, TechSpot Chancellor, said:

What a bunch of losers. Can't imagine how much tax payer money this is costing to try and chase down these morons.

Decimae said:

Although jail time and fines are a possibility, most attackers functioned behind proxies and botnets. Since drones were doing most of the work, the FBI may have difficulty pinning the attacks on the right people.

So only the people who are behind the biggest problem here, botnets puppetmasters, are the ones least likely to end up being sued? I don't think that's justice.

I also think a huge bit of the traffic was international, where the FBI has no jurisdiction.

And with these getting sued, what about the DDoS attack the RIAA hired a company to do, or at least the rumour of that?

PanicX PanicX, TechSpot Ambassador, said:

From what I've seen of 4chan, they're mostly kids that are bored and want to be rebellious with out consequences. Problem is that I think its more than likely that most of them, aren't using proxies and have no idea how to be anonymous, and are even likely to delete important system files when prompted by others.

Leeky Leeky said:

I'm not sure how I feel about this one...

Was this Indian company not actually publicly admitting they were doing it themselves? If so, they can't expect to be treated any different in response. Lets also not forget the FBI's legal jurisdictional rights ends at its country borders - they have no power in effect over citizens from other countries - that said, I doubt there would be much arguments from a said persons judicial equivalents in there respective country if permission was sought for prosecution.

The Internet should be free; but not free to the point where it disregards a persons intellectual property rights.

This is one of those very conjectured Internet topics, and it'll never go away. I think in some ways those of 4Chan did something some of us may have wished we could do, but were otherwise far too grown up to forget the consequences.

Guest said:

this is some major crap, and no i wasnt one of the attackers.

instead of hunting real criminal they are looking for some Ddos'ers...

princeton princeton said:

PanicX said:

From what I've seen of 4chan, they're mostly kids that are bored and want to be rebellious with out consequences. Problem is that I think its more than likely that most of them, aren't using proxies and have no idea how to be anonymous, and are even likely to delete important system files when prompted by others.

Uh 4chan has done more good than alot of other organizations. AKA project chanology. Helping expose that evil cult masquerading as a religion.

TomSEA TomSEA, TechSpot Chancellor, said:

For those saying that the FBI's jurisdiction ends at the borders, that's not entirely correct. They work hand-in-hand with Interpol. Notice many of the attacks weren't just against U.S. based websites. And the FBI can still track down and charge cyber-criminals outside of the U.S. as seen with this recent bust:

http://www.messagingwire.com/aev-760.aspx

PanicX PanicX, TechSpot Ambassador, said:

Uh 4chan has done more good than alot of other organizations. AKA project chanology. Helping expose that evil cult masquerading as a religion.

I can't tell why you've quoted me by your reply.

Thanks, I guess.

Guest said:

"Uh 4chan has done more good than alot of other organizations. AKA project chanology. Helping expose that evil cult masquerading as a religion."

They've also done a lot of highly ****ed up things, up to and including random death threats. The whole thing is pretty decentralized, so saying '4chan did x, 4chan did y' is a bit like saying 'the people of California did x,' or 'one-eyed people did y,' just because a few people who fitted under that umbrella were involved. In other words, since there is no hierarchy or accepted dogma, one member cannot be fairly held responsible for the actions of another.

I would suggest, however, that if you read through a substantial amount of encyclopedia dramatica and don't find any of it at least a little sickening, you should probably check yourself in with a psychiatrist pretty sharpish.

AbsolutGaloot said:

I'll be amazed if they actually manage to get anything important done or even impact 4chan at all.

---agissi--- ---agissi---, TechSpot Paladin, said:

Yup.. wasted tax payers money. Goes to show the people in charge of our money are sometimes ******. Like all those hours will really change anything. Seee the bigger picture.

Cryptopsy said:

forget your taxes... thats not the point, they just WON'T ever get the responsible for this. thats the point of a ddos + zombie PCs hop and hop and hop, no chance to get him/them.

madboyv1, TechSpot Paladin, said:

Guest said:

I would suggest, however, that if you read through a substantial amount of encyclopedia dramatica and don't find any of it at least a little sickening, you should probably check yourself in with a psychiatrist pretty sharpish.

Or, people need to develop thicker skin? Not pertinent to the article or comments on hand, but I've been tired of how everyone and everything needs to be politically correct nowadays. Overzealous fingerpointing, overreactions, and that a single word taken out of context can potentially put people to ruin socially, politically, and economically is far more sickening than the random crap you can find on a shock site like dramatica, which is intentionally trying to offend people.

vangrat said:

...HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAH ROFLMAO omg that is so frakin funny...wow.

Obviously the FBI does not understand the affects of mass rage. I just have this vision of them trying to subpoena 3000-5000 people XD all named Anonymous, HAH!

Yosip said:

RIAA and MPAA! This will probaly happen again. FBI dont waste time on DDoS attacks, go arrest some drugs dealers, lords, pimps, phedo bears, etc. Earth will be a lot happier place without them than without zombie network.

Leeky Leeky said:

RIAA and MPAA! This will probaly happen again. FBI dont waste time on DDoS attacks, go arrest some drugs dealers, lords, pimps, phedo bears, etc. Earth will be a lot happier place without them than without zombie network.

Forgive my ignorance, but I thought they only investigated federal crimes, not common crimes like the Police do? Or are those sorts of crimes deemed federal?

Or is the FBI like the super-cops of the USA?

I always find your law enforcement strange. Here in the UK we just have the Police, they deal with all crimes, big or small. Then we have intelligence agencies like MI-5, and the super secret MI6 intelligence agencies.

You guys have the Police, DEA, FBI, CIA, US Marshalls Service, and countless others. lol.

Jetatt23 said:

I agree that anti-piracy methods are getting out of hand, but retaliating like this is not the solution. It is only going to cause the RIAA, MPAA, and other organizations scale up their efforts and waste money. The people doing these actions need to realize that not all content can be free on the internet, otherwise there would be no worthwhile content. This is capitalism

TwiztidSef said:

I do think 4chan is a pit of despair and has done alot of things wrong, however I do believe that a place like 4chan is bound to exist. I think the internet as a whole accurately represents society, and stuff like that. So there must be a place like this. I have spent time on 4chan and it does have quite a few douchbags but there are cool people. I heard of reports of people anonymously begging for rent money and actually having someone pay them. Whether it was a scam or the real deal, the fact someone was willing to pay money to keep someone off the streets is a good thing. Also most visitors love cats. Its weird.

As for the record companies, I don't really care about them. I would rather have a record company that put all the copyright power and legal power to the artist. *pipe dream*

Guest said:

interstate commerce clause, anything that uses the internet can be federal if they decide to go after you.

KG363 KG363 said:

Waste of my money

Trillionsin Trillionsin said:

Maybe the stuff people are pirating shouldn't be so damn expensive. I know that would change my mind.... about something... not to be too vague, but to be entirely vague indeed.

4chan's /b/ is quite interesting. As most feel like they have good intentions most are just followers who dont really know what they are doing. As this site gets more attention there become more users. If 4chan goes down, they will just find a new place to call themselves "anon." This battle is futile and will be untill the infrastructure of the internet is changed.. and I'm not even really sure what I am talking about.

Puiu Puiu said:

they'll catch one or two people, put them in jail and then the FBI website will be attacked by stupid kids who don't know better. But it's highly unlikely that the FBI will be able to do something about these attacks. There's just too many and to spread across the world. Waste of huge amounts of money.

Emin3nce said:

Power to the people.

Same argument that's been happening a long time. A group of people are unhappy about the ruling party. When the rulers raise the taxes to fight the rioting villagers, those that had no interest become angry at the rioters.

History repeats.

pheonixnexus said:

It really bugs me that they keep saying "4chan" as if 4 chan backs them. "Anonymous" talks threw "4chan" the internet board. so it like saying the "school library" is responsible for the "chess club" beating the other schools at chess. so we close the the "library"? NO!!! you beat the "chess club" at chess! I think it wrong a site for communication is taking heat form what people not affiliated to it did!

Guest said:

Anonymous fail.

DokkRokken said:

Anonymous says it wants to keep all information on the Internet free and available to everyone. In other words, to them, copyright is a form censorship.

I wish Anon would just admit they're just cheap instead of trying to BS themselves. At least they'd be telling the truth. When I pirated music, it was because I was poor and it was easy, not because I had some sort of 'moral' principal. That probably goes for 95% of downloaders.

But talk about a waste of money on the government's part.

Relic Relic, TechSpot Chancellor, said:

You guys should be careful posting that FBI seal, wouldn't want you guys to get sued . [LINK]

Anyway good luck to the FBI, this seems like a wild-goose chase to me and a waste of time.

Forgive my ignorance, but I thought they only investigated federal crimes, not common crimes like the Police do? Or are those sorts of crimes deemed federal?

Or is the FBI like the super-cops of the USA?

I always find your law enforcement strange. Here in the UK we just have the Police, they deal with all crimes, big or small. Then we have intelligence agencies like MI-5, and the super secret MI6 intelligence agencies.

You guys have the Police, DEA, FBI, CIA, US Marshalls Service, and countless others. lol.

It's complicated Leeky...this is my understanding of it and I'm pretty sure I'm missing something.

1. The police here in the US can be described as the following, police officers, sheriffs, state troopers, constables & rangers some of which are elected officials that we choose in our local elections some are not. All are basically the same but depending on where you live you're serviced differently. Most important thing about them to remember is that they have jurisdictions.

2. We have a lot federal agencies as well for different areas. Firstly the FBI (Federal Bureau of Investigation) which I guess are like super-cops as you described. To sum up the basics they deal with bigger & more complicated crimes on the local, state and federal level by supporting local law enforcement on top of other priorities like counter terrorism, counter intelligence & cyber warfare which is why they are investigating this.

We also have other agencies like DEA (Drug Enforcement Administration), ATF (Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives), ICE (Immigration and Customs Enforcement), CBP (Customs and Border Protection), USMS (United States Marshals Service), USSS (United States Secret Service) & FPS (Federal Protective Service). All of these minus the FBI are under the DHS (Department of Homeland Security).

We also then have the NSA (National Security Agency) which is part of the DoD (Department of Defense) as well as the CIA (Central Intelligence Agency). However they aren't really classified as law enforcement agencies and are known for breaking laws :p .

Oh ya don't forget about all our Military law enforcement too! Each branch has its own Military Police (MPs) and there own criminal investigation services like CID (United States Army Criminal Investigation Division), NCIS (Naval Criminal Investigative Service), OSI (Air Force Office of Special Investigations), CGIS (Coast Guard Investigative Service).

I likely forgot several but as you can see we have a plethora of agencies that deal with all sorts of crimes depending on its nature. Several of which have TV shows made after them lol.

mtrenal said:

I remember when I thought of myself as like most of those kids on 4chan who do things like this. While there are a large number of those kids who probably could be identified with some investigation, there are far more people who are truly anonymous, and I really don't think that the FBI is ever going to find them. This is truly a waste of time and tax money.

And yes, our justice system in the good ole US of A is really, really confusing, and jurisdiction tends to get in the way of many agencies' pursuit of criminals.

silvershad0w said:

Although jail time and fines are a possibility, most attackers functioned behind proxies and botnets. Since drones were doing most of the work, the FBI may have difficulty pinning the attacks on the right people.

I'd agree with this.. I can see some innocent people having a squad car and a couple of FBI owned vehicles visiting them bright and early on a Saturday morning.

Jinto Jinto said:

Exactly, since the people who run the government are mostly old prunes they haven't the slightest idea of whose exactly behind the attacks. It should also be mentioned that there are a 101 4chan clone sites out there, many of which aren't specific to the U.S.

Guest said:

You're right. It's George Orwell's 1984 all over. I hope people get more thick-skinned for their own good. And soon.

Leeky Leeky said:

@Relic,

Thank you for that post, I can understand things slightly more now - I suppose the important note for me is every single one of them carry guns! We have it so easy here, the worst we can expect if we're bad citizens is some pepper spray and maybe a telescopic baton to unwanted areas. We certainly wouldn't get shot as the normal police on the streets don't have guns. Well thats true of most law enforcement here.

Our police don't, well not unless they're the flying squad, ARV's (Armed response vehicles but we don't have many of those in the country!).

So given your information, if I was (I'm not, honest!) a international drug baron, murderer and pimp, I'd have the FBI, ATF, DEA and ICE most likely after me... Jeez, life is simple in the UK!!

P.S. I knew NCIS, I watch NCIS and NCIS Los Angeles on TV - Very good stuff that is!

Kibaruk Kibaruk, TechSpot Paladin, said:

I agree with this being a waste of tax payers money, but... they did break a law. But... what does "The FBI Investigating" means? You think the whole department is working on that? I bet they got the new kid to search it.

Guest said:

I agree, the FBI is off the mark. They should be going after the domestic terrorists at the MPAA and RIAA.

treetops treetops said:

Lets spend money chasing down internet pirates instead of using our resources to catch insider traders, drug dealers, murders and child molesters yeah!

Guest said:

4Chan is an impenatrable force to be reckonned with. I guarantee over 100,000+ people use 4chan...and i would go as far as assuming that half of them are very very technically inclined.

They will probebly never catch the folks that had something to do with it.

Guest said:

You wouldn't happen to be one of them would you?

sMILEY4ever said:

FBI couldn't identify the guys even if they wanted to. They're wasting their time.

Guest said:

YOU are the only loser here!

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