The hacking group known as Anonymous intends to attack the core servers that control the routing of all internet traffic. DNS, or Domain Name Servers, are a critical backbone of the web and make it possible for internet surfers to reach web site destinations by typing in a domain name in their browsers. Once a particular web site is requested, a query is sent to a domain name server, which then redirects that web address to a specific IP address on the web. Without these servers, access to web sites through traditional means (typing in a ‘dot com’) becomes impossible, because there is no way to direct the traffic to the appropriate web site destination.
According to a statement released by Anonymous, it is these servers that will come under fire on Saturday, March 31.
Anonymous says they do not intend to ‘kill’ the internet completely, but rather, the end game of Operation Blackout 2012 is a temporary take down of the internet where “it hurts most.” According to the group, the operation is being carried out to:
…protest SOPA, Wallstreet, our irresponsible leaders and the beloved bankers who are starving the world for their own selfish needs out of sheer sadistic fun, on March 31, anonymous will shut the Internet down. (source)
Excerpt of statement:
Citizens of the United States, We are Anonymous.
This is an urgent emergency alert to all people of the United States. The day we’ve all been waiting for has unfortunately arrived. The United States is censoring the internet. Our blatant response is that we will not sit while our rights are taken away by the government we trusted them to preserve. This is not a call to arms, but a call to recognition and action!
The United States government has mastered this corrupt way of giving us a false sense of freedom. We think we are free and can do what we want, but in reality we are very limited and restricted as to what we can do, how we can think, and even how our education is obtained. We have been so distracted by this mirage of freedom, that we have just become what we were trying to escape from.
For too long, we have been idle as our brothers and sisters were arrested. During this time, the government has been scheming, plotting ways to increase censorship through means of I S P block aides, D N S blockings, search engine censorship, website censorship, and a variety of other methods that directly oppose the values and ideas of both Anonymous as well as the founding fathers of this country, who believed in free speech and press!
The United States has often been used as an example of the ideal free country. When the one nation that is known for its freedom and rights start to abuse its own people, this is when you must fight back, because others are soon to follow.
If this latest threat is carried out, it will highlight the significant security risks inherent in the internet as it exists today. According to numerous reports, including those of the head of US Cyber Security General Keith Alexander, infrastructure, commerce and transportation are susceptible to attacks that could damage physical equipment like thousand-ton machines, cause widespread power outages, and affect just-in-time delivery systems that keep food, gas and commerce flowing.
If Anonymous is capable of attacking core DNS servers that take down the web, even for a day, it would be a show of just how fragile our entire way of life really is. Though Anonymous hackers undoubtedly include some of the best and brightest techies out there, they would likely pale in comparison to the cumulative power of hackers operating under the sponsorship of a large Asian government (we won’t name any names), or a coordinated rogue terror network that acts not for the purpose of protest, but devastation.
If such an attack were to be unleashed on the Untied States terrorism experts suggest a coordinated take-down of the entire United States could be executed in as little as 15 minutes.