Some poker players using PayPal to make their payments recently found their transactions blocked as the site’s services were disrupted for almost a day. This was because the site was attacked by a group of cyber criminals who call themselves “Anonymous” in response to PayPal stopping payments and donations made to the WikiLeaks site.
For those of you who are unaware of the site, WikiLeaks is a website run by Julian Assange that posts top secret government documents online for the public to see. It is supported by donations that are processed by online merchants like MasterCard, PayPal, Visa and Moneybookers. Once discovered both the US government and several corporate organizations and enterprises took action. MasterCard, PayPal and Visa refused to process payment made to the site and as a result found themselves the target of “Anonymous,” a group of cyber attackers that are revolting at the site’s not getting its funds from supporters and perhaps also over the fact that site owner Julian Assange has been arrested in the United Kingdom.
Hanon Hosein, a University of Washington professor, discussed what the site was doing. “The openness and transparency of our society has really been laid bare and even us as citizens are affected by that. There are some activists out there who have taken great offense to the fact that government and corporations are clamping down on WikiLeaks and they have the ability to shut down these websites,” he said.
In the last couple of days Visa, MasterCard, Moneybookers and Paypal saw their services disrupted. Internet finance experts claims that the merchants could have lost over 6 million dollars worth of revenue on that day. However, there was no significant damage to PayPal reported, so users need not be alarmed.
Meanwhile, Linda Criddle, an internet security expert had this to say: “If you choose to go shop somewhere else because you wanted to shop within that time frame, you are contributing to the penalty that’s being applied.”