Anonymous, LulzSec go legal in PayPal war?


Hacktivist groups Anonymous and LulzSec have taken a different tack in their fight against PayPal by simply encouraging people to ditch their accounts.

In the past, the groups have fought their enemies with web attacks, namely distributed denial of service (DDoS) strikes, which are illegal in many countries.

If pace keeps up, over 9,000 PayPal accounts will be closed in the next week.

Now, however, the related groups have come together to tell people to finish with PayPal in response to FBI arrests of individuals suspected of involvement in cyber strikes on the eBay subsidiary.

Last week, an FBI-run operation led to the arrests of 20 individuals in the US, the UK and the Netherlands as part of an investigation into attacks on PayPal. It was believed a UK teenager was arrested on suspicion of involvement in Anonymous.

Anonymous' and LulzSec's actions were also made in retaliation to PayPal not accepting donations for WikiLeaks.

"We encourage anyone using PayPal to immediately close their accounts and consider an alternative," a post on read.

"Join us in our latest operation against PayPal - tweet pictures of your account closure, tell us on IRC, spread the word. Anonymous has become a powerful channel of information, and unlike the governments of the world, we are here to fight for you."

Anonymous has already claimed success in its campaign, using a Twitter feed to promote the campaign.

"If pace keeps up, over 9,000 PayPal accounts will be closed in the next week," the group said.

It claimed a few hundred had been closed by 08.32 GMT today.

At the time of publication, PayPal had not confirmed any figures on account closures or responded to today's moves by Anonymous and LulzSec.

There was an indication the hacktivist groups would not stick to non-attack methods of protest, with Anonymous warning this was "just the beginning."

"We cannot only do more than DDoS we can do less than DDoS and both methods will cause you lots of headaches in the future. Expect us," the group added.

Tom Brewster

Tom Brewster is currently an associate editor at Forbes and an award-winning journalist who covers cyber security, surveillance, and privacy. Starting his career at ITPro as a staff writer and working up to a senior staff writer role, Tom has been covering the tech industry for more than ten years and is considered one of the leading journalists in his specialism.

He is a proud alum of the University of Sheffield where he secured an undergraduate degree in English Literature before undertaking a certification from General Assembly in web development.