Is Amazon Under Cyberattack?

We did a quick check and it seemed to be fine. According to CNN, “Anonymous Operations” was planning to cyberattack Amazon today at 11a.m., an act that’s part of Operation Payback in support of WikiLeaks. The story says that computer hackers have released a DIY hacking tool on Twitter and had plans to hit Amazon this morning. Mashable has also had contact with hackers involved in the campaign.

Anonymous Operations members told CNN that their goal is “freedom of information. Any and all information.” WikiLeaks says it’s not affiliated with the group.

Mastercard was targeted by attacks yesterday. According to the NY Times, a group called Anonymous took credit for that attack. (Seems like Anonymous, Operation Anonymous, and Anonymous Operations are the same group?)

Some, including media outlets, have characterized the attacks as “cyberwar.” However experts tell CNN otherwise.

In a separate story they compare it “to a bunch of protesters standing in front of an office building, refusing to let workers in. It’s annoying, but it didn’t shut down the operation. And it didn’t start a war.”

Mikko Hypponen, chief research officer at a company called F-Secure says cyberwar includes real-life targets and real-life damage.

“I see it mostly as a demonstration of their dissatisfaction with the system and how things are going,” said Bruce Schneier, chief security technology officer of communications company BT.

Customers are notorious for going online to voice their grievances, but this is feedback on another level. Will PR teams see this as an opportunity to offer a new service to guard clients against these kinds of attacks? If so, it’s an effort that would require input from a variety of practice areas, including the digital team.

The Mastercard homepage has a message saying that they have “made significant progress in restoring full-service to its corporate website” and that “cardholders can continue to use their cards for secure transactions globally.”

Visa and Sarah Palin were also reported to have been attacked, and the Times says the “hacktivists” were increasing efforts against PayPal.