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insight So I guess it’s official: the enemies of Wikileaks are now the enemy of the thousands of faceless cyber mercenaries who gather under the collective of Anonymous.

Rage(Rage image by Amy McTigue, CC BY-ND 2.0)

They managed to cripple perhaps every global website of MasterCard, including Australia, after the company cut ties with Wikileaks.

That followed attacks on PayPal and a Swiss bank.

One Anonymous attacker claimed that he and very few others attacked the PayPal blogs site because they felt the whistleblower’s plight was similar to their own fight against cash-laden copyright laws.

But crippling the global MasterCard home page sites takes coordination and decision-making, which, in a hive-mind rabble of a thousand angry, overly excited online activists, is surely not an easy task.

More than 700 Low Orbit Ion Cannons — the public and open-source software written to conduct denial-of-service (DoS) attacks — blasted the sites with continuous phoney web traffic requests until they crashed under the load.

From a hotel in Hong Kong, I jumped into the Internet Chat Relay service used by the pirates during the attacks.

It was a speedy and horrid tumult of invective anarchy with a pinch of intellect and fleeting moments of lawful moderation.

“MasterCard is ******* down! They wont b [sic] ******* with Wikileaks again,” wrote one user.

“They will learn. Watch them fall. Watch them when we hit them again and again and again,” wrote another.

A few members of the libertarian hive agreed to a brief interview.

I asked user Anon555 what DoS attacks means to them and why they use them.

“We are removing the freedom of speech from those who are doing it on a grand scale,” they said.

“By that, they are really saying Wikileaks has no right to promote free speech.”

I managed to attract the attention of a few possible attack moderators, whose often whirlwind reign takes sic transit gloria mundi to the extreme.

They started with the now infamous “we are anonymous, we are legion” slogan, but were quick to offer meaningful answers to some more pressing questions.

“Wkileaks is about freedom of information, it is about revealing to the pacified masses what is really going on in their world,” they said.

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