Anonymous is taking responsibility for launching a coordinated cyberattack on Boeing’s website, a high-profile takedown that’s part of the hacking collective’s campaign against what it believes is a stifling piece of federal legislation.
Anonymous announced “Tango Down boeing.com by #Anonymous for #OpDefense” on its YourAnonNews Twitter feed at about 3:45 p.m. EDT Tuesday. Boeing’s website was down for most of the following two hours, returning at about 5:40 p.m. ET, but had some trouble again Wednesday morning.
Boeing did not return a call from SecurityNewsDaily seeking comment.
Operation Defense, or #OpDefense as mentioned on Twitter, stems from Anonymous’ opposition to the proposed Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act (CISPA), a bill that would enable private companies and the government to more easily share cybersecurity information.
Boeing, according to the U.S. House of Representatives, is one of nearly 30 private companies that have written letters in support of CISPA. Other vocal supporters include AT&T, Facebook, IBM, Intel, Microsoft and Lockheed Martin.
In a YouTube video posted by TheAnonMessage on April 7, the hackers made their anti-CISPA stance clear:
“CISPA, the Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act of 2011, and those who have crafted this bill have now become sworn enemies of Anonymous,” the narrator says. “We will unleash the worst pain on those who threaten our existence. You will neither eat, nor sleep, without hearing our voices through your walls. Your actions will be monitored … We will march through the streets, we will destroy your reign of terror on our domain, you will cease to exist. This is not a threat, this is a promise.”
Two other letter-writing supporters of CISPA, USTelecom and TechAmerica, were hit by denial-of-service attacks launched by Anonymous on Sunday and Monday (April 8 and 9), Bloomberg News reported. Both were back online later.
There were reports that the sites of the White House and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce had also been knocked offline in the past few days, but both were up Tuesday afternoon.
Anonymous on Tuesday also started #OpBoycottNetflix, urging its followers to cancel their Netflix subscriptions for what the hackers erroneously thought was Netflix’s support of CISPA.