The Anonymous Internet collective is claiming responsibility for DDoS attacks that reportedly knocked offline the websites of prominent defense contractor, Boeing, and two trade associations, TechAmerica and USTelecom.
The website of TechAmerica remained down Wednesday afternoon. In a phone interview, TechAmerica’s senior vice president of Communications, Stephanie Craig, confirmed that the attack took place and that the company’s website remained offline, but declined further comment. USTelecom confirmed that they had been targeted by Anonymous with denial of service attack on Monday morning. The trade association believes Anonymous targeted them over their support of CISPA as well.
“We respect the right of those calling themselves ‘Anonymous’ to express their views and engage in lawful political advocacy,” said USTelecom president and CEO Walter McCormick in a prepared statement. “But by launching a cyber attack in an effort to coerce, intimidate and stifle speech, members of Anonymous are acting contrary to the very freedoms and Internet norms that they espouse.” Anonymous’s actions only “underscore the importance of speedy action on the [bill]” to keep the Internet safe and open for all, he said in the statement.
The attack on Boeing occurred around 3 PM EST on April 10, and was reportedly in retaliation for the company’s support of a controversial piece of cybersecurity legislation, the Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act (CISPA), according to an MSNBC report and an announcement on the YourAnonNews twitter feed.
A Boeing company spokesperson, Todd Kelly, would not confirm the incident, saying the company does not discuss matters of IT security.
Online civil rights group The Electronic Frontier Foundation has been leading the charge against CISPA, the successor bill to the much-maligned Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA), which was defeated after a wave of protest. The EFF argues that while the bills may be well-intentioned, they invariably open the door for future corporate and government abuses. You can find a list of companies that support the bill here.