Wikileaks – Why Operation Payback failed to make a dent

“Operation Payback” is a coordinated effort by hackers to disrupt the operations of some of the financial institutions who have turned their guns on Wikileaks, for revealing embarassing truths about Western espionage (lets be honest: official secrets usually are secret because they don’t want the voters to know, rather than than fear of giving an advantage to the enemy.)

It appears that Operation Payback has had little success in hurting these big institutions but let’s look at the big picture. Gone are the days of “cyber-anarchism” – the motivation these days is financial or military. These institutions have hardened themselves against relentless spamming, phishing and sustained efforts by underground criminal gangs. The amateur hacking community has been overtaken by highly organized commercial concerns, perhaps in Eastern Europe, China or who knows where.

The reality is: if the controllers of the biggest botnets got all their botnets doing a mass denial of service on Amazon, it would have had more of an effect. However, these botnets are busy making money for their owners. Also, hackers have undiscovered exploits up their sleeves. These are like gold-dust. Would they reveal these exploits for this goal. At one time, they probably would, however these days, they can get paid for this information, either by playing good and giving them to Google (in exchange for cash) or using a “black hat” method.

If there was a lucrative prize for taking Amazon down, I have no doubt it would have happened already, In terms of motivation, noble political and moral ideas usually play second fiddle to the power of the Dollar.


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