MasterCard.com (and Visa.com) Taken Down By Wikileaks-Supporting Hackers?

MasterCard Statement Blames "Heavy Traffic"

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Update 3. MasterCard is back, and Anonymous (those behind Operation Payback) have issues a press release.

Update 2: The group (Operation Payback) credited with bringing down both MasterCard.com and Visa.com has had its Facebook Page removed for violating terms of service. It’s Twitter account was also suspended.

Update: Visa.com is now down as well. MasterCard.com is still down. (As of 4:30pm Eastern)

Original Article: MasterCard.com is down. It’s reportedly been down for hours now.  It would appear that supporters of Wikileaks (hackers) are taking credit, as MasterCard stopped processing payments for Wikileaks support. 

Alan Bentley, SVP International of global security firm, Lumension tells WebProNews, "The hacker attack on MasterCard’s website following its move to block payments to WikiLeaks certainly shouldn’t surprise anyone. WikiLeaks has a strong following amongst the hacker community and it was inevitable that there was going to be some form of backlash."

Of course MasterCard isn’t the only company to refuse service to Wikileaks. "Many disgruntled hacktivists will be seeking revenge on behalf of the whistleblowing website and it is highly likely that this will be the first in a series of attacks on businesses such as Amazon, PayPal, Visa and Swiss Bank, all of which withdrew services to Wikileaks over recent days," says Bentley. "The Wikileaks saga is undoubtedly set to continue for some time and all organisations involved will want to beef up their security efforts in a bid to protect themselves from the wrath of the hactivist community."

MasterCard Down

Actually reports indicate that some of these other sites have suffered attacks, though MasterCard seems to be the only one down at the moment. MasterCard just released the following statement:

MasterCard is experiencing heavy traffic on its external corporate website – MasterCard.com. We are working to restore normal speed of service.

There is no impact whatsoever on our cardholders ability to use their cards for secure transactions.

No mention of any hacking. 

It’s not just hackers whose mouths were left with a bad taste when these companies refused service to Wikileaks. Industry analyst Jeff Jarvis had some strong words about it. 

Bentley is probably right in that we probably haven’t seen the last of such attacks. Pissing off hackers is bound to have its consequences.

MasterCard.com (and Visa.com) Taken Down By Wikileaks-Supporting Hackers?
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  • Guest

    It is really pitiful what the news media reaports as “hacking” these days. A DDoS attack is not “hacking the Mastercard website” by any stretch of the imagination. Please quit with the sensationalism already.

  • Guest

    In a “free” country, this is preposterous. Mastercard is a service and if Americans want to support their freedom of speech, they should stay out of this, or else they have LOST YET ANOTHER CUSTOMER

  • Guest

    3D Secure is down, Every transaction is timing out.

  • Guest

    In a typical DDoS attack, a hacker (or, if you prefer, cracker) begins by exploiting a vulnerability in one computer system and making it the DDoS master.

    Read more….. http://searchsecurity.techtarget.com/sDefinition/0,,sid14_gci557336,00.html

  • MrAndrewJ

    Businesses are private organizations who – ideally – have obligations only to themselves, their investors, and their clients. However, that agreement between business and client is at the option of both parties. I hope that I am dealing with business people, and I further hope that you understand this much in your own businesses.

    You do understand that, right? You and your clients both choose to do business with each other voluntarily.

    The attacks on these businesses only adds fuel to my own worst fear. The fear is that that too many hactivists involved are less interested in peace through open information than they are seeking glory and/or empowerment through the destruction of others. Spreading information would have meant taking the time to discuss the matter with the payment processors. Spreading destruction meant heading straight for the DDoS route.


    The attacks are reportedly coming from a separate and unaffiliated group. It will be important to still consider the Wikilinks crowd a separate group from the hackers until they speak about the attacks for themselves.

  • http://www.seo-theory.com/ Michael Martinez

    So it’s okay for a criminal organization like Wikileaks to practice “free speech” but it’s NOT okay for a law-abiding company like Mastercard to practice “free speech”?

    In other words, free speech really only belongs to those who are strong enough to break the law, right? That’s a great social value that Wikileaks has brought to our society.

    • MrAndrewJ

      The people behind the attacks act as a faceless collective called “Anonymous”, yet issued a statement proclaiming that they stand for transparency.

      They are attacking from the dark rather than having open discourse as proof that they believe in the open distribution of information.

      The group’s early roots were less harmful forms of troublemaking. Unfortunately as they changed in scope, their methods did not. Causing problems for other is their answer to every grievance. Reason has little to do with it.

  • Hacking? LOL

    I would hardly call a bunch of fat neckbeards from 4chan hackers.

    They attacked a website essentially by pinging it to death, with enough people anyone can do that. Especially with instructions written on a pastehtml dump telling them how step by step.


  • http://truthnews.tv Guest

    I’m thinking about stop using visa/mastercards, but not sure what other company can provide those services. Ultimately, if the establishment dont stop their tyranni we, the people, have to opt out and start using cash (only), again.. Or maybe just trade services amoungs each others.. That would save us a lot of tax also.

    PEACE !!

  • http://www.news1.com.au News

    Yes i believe this comes under the title “Script kiddies”

    Children getting scripts or software to do “Hacking”

    I believe a 16 year old kid has been arrested for this?

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