'Each man takes the limits of his own field of vision for the limits of the world'
-- Arthur Schopenhauer, Essays and Aphorisms

'Artists are tricky fellows sir, forever shaping the world according to some design of their own'
-- Jonathan Strange, Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell

Sunday, 11 November 2012

The Anon's Low Orbit Ion Cannon

One of the interesting elements from the "Anonymous: We are Legion" documentary was the Anon's use of the DDOS software Low Orbit Ion Cannon which included the user's Internet Service Provider address in the multiple ISP addresses which denied service to the targeted websites. The software was developed by Praetox technologies but is now open source, hosted on several platforms.

LOIC was used as part of Project Chanology, when Anonymous as a movement emerged, in their actions against the Church of Scientology. The LOIC was used additionally in Operation Payback, in response to organizations' refusals to process donations to WikiLeaks.

That the LOIC logged the user's own IP meant that the perpetrators of the DDOS attacks could be easily identified by the FBI which led to a series of arrests. It brought home the virtual to that of reality and shifted the balance in favour of the authorities because Anon's actions had real life consequences, and as the first wave of perpetrators, it is possible that sentences handed down will be severe in order to deter further and more creative acts against organizations and governments. Some of the offenders are faced with maximum Federal punishments of 15-year jail sentences.

Anons have attacked the Church of Scientology, Mastercard, Visa, government websites amongst other entities and recently had a publicised fall out with WikiLeaks over its pay-per-view bar on new material, which was subsequently taken down. The political character of such a disparate movement is necessarily diffuse and hence the message becomes muddied. Anonymous have released a video decrying Obama's record but with a lack of viable alternatives. Criticism is one thing but offering solutions is something else entirely, and is the necessary next phase of a manifesto.

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