(and Taken Down By Wikileaks-Supporting Hackers?

    December 8, 2010
    Chris Crum

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 and has had its Facebook Page removed for violating terms of service. It’s Twitter account was also suspended.

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

Original Article: 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 – 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.


Chris Crum
Chris Crum has been a part of the WebProNews team and the iEntry Network of B2B Publications since 2003. Follow Chris on Twitter, on StumbleUpon, on Pinterest and/or on Google: +Chris Crum.