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MasterCard Website Falls Under Cyberattack

June 29, 2011

MasterCard confirmed on Tuesday that its website had been forced offline by a cyber attack, according to a report by The Telegraph.

A Twitter user known as “Ibom Hacktivist” was the first to announce the attack and seemed to take credit for it.

He said he was a member of hacking group Anonymous and said that MasterCard was targeted because of its withdrawal of financial services to the whistle-blowing site WikiLeaks.

“MasterCard.com DOWN!!!, thats what you get when you mess with @wikileaks @Anon_Central and the enter community of lulz loving individuals,” he said on his now deleted Twitter feed.

MasterCard confirmed to The Telegraph its website was offline and said it was investigating the attack.

The company was also hit in December by “Operation Payback,” which was a series of attacks launched by Anonymous that also targeted Visa, PayPal and Amazon.  The group wanted revenge after the firms withdrew services from WikiLeaks in the midst of its release of classified U.S. diplomatic cables.

“Hactivists take down MasterCard in protest over the continuing illegal WikiLeaks fiscal embargo,” it said on its Twitter account.

“The unlawful banking blockade against WikiLeaks in 6th month: The culprits: VISA, MasterCard, PayPal, Bank of America, Western Union.”

Anonymous has used Denial of Service (DoS) in previous attacks, which aim at overloading servers with traffic and making websites inaccessible.

Attackers typically use a botnet to generate the necessary volume of traffic.

DoS attacks do not normally involve gaining access to private computer files.   MasterCard did not say whether the type of attack was DoS or not.

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