INTERNET — Snowden’s newest revelation showed the UK’s GCHQ operates a Denial of Service program dubbed “Rolling Thunder” which targeted and shut down AnonOps IRC, a centralized meeting place for Anonymous activists around the world.
Ethical hacking expert Dr. Angstrom H. Troubador said, “DDoS is the very lowest form of hacking. That is, if you can even call it that. Basically a huge flood of traffic is dispatched to disable a server and anything else in its path. Hackers who carry out these kinds of attacks are known as ‘skids’, a portmanteau of script and kiddies — skids are everywhere shamed and considered the least skilled hackers imaginable.”
Activists from Anonymous face astounding and severe punishments for DDoS attacks, sometimes as much as ten years, as these attacks are assigned a terrorist level threat to national security in the US and UK. However, hackers at the GCHQ who have co-opted the DDoS tactic and turned it against Anonymous face no such punishment, sparking an intense response from Anonymous fans and bloggers. Police forces in both the UK and America have long been known to break the law in order to enforce the law, and some of criticism has been aimed at this age old contradiction, but the level at which innocent bystanders caught in the packet crossfire and non-criminal activists who operated on AnonOps were harmed by these DDoS attacks may never be fully known.
An anonymous GCHQ spokesperson, however, responded to Snowden’s allegations and the resulting storm of criticisms Wednesday morning, telling reporters via encrypted e-mail message, “The GCHQ will DDoS as it sees fit, and just to show Anonymous we mean business, right now we’re taking down their precious 4chan web site. The GCHQ does not forgive. It does not forget. Expect us.”