The Anonymous hacktivist collective has pulled their try-hard pants on and taken their stomping books to the Ukrainian government over the takedown of the popular BitTorrent tracker Demonoid. As reported by TorrentFreak, the raid appears to have been done at the behest of IFPI (and potentially to earn brownie points with United States copyright regimes) and this sticks mightily in the craw of the Anonymous collective who are well known for their dislike of government interference with the free flow of information on the Internet.
“A source inside the Interior Ministry has informed Kommersant that the raid on Demonoid was timed to coincide with the very first trip of Deputy Prime Minister Valery Khoroshkovsky‘s trip to the United States. On the agenda: copyright infringement.”
Of course, the IFPI is taking all the credit, and maintaining the status of any BitTorrent tracker as a source for piracy as the cover for the operation.
“Demonoid was a leading global player in digital music piracy which acted as unfair competition to the more than 500 licensed digital music services that offer great value music to consumers while respecting the rights of artists, songwriters and record companies,” the IFPI’s anti-piracy director Jeremy Banks said in a statement.
And Anonymous isn’t buying it.
In response to the raid and the takedown, cells of the Anonymous collective have spun up their Low Orbit Ion Cannon instances and begun a massive DDoS against Ukrainian websites. Amid those sites currently under attack—and noted to be only the opening barrage of DDoS artillery—happen to be National Television and Radio Broadcasting Council of Ukraine (nrada.gov.ua), the Ukrainian Agency for Copyright and Related Rights (uacrr.kiev.ua), and the Ukrainian Anti-Piracy Association (apo.kiev.ua).
Communications from the Anonymous cells involved in the attack include a manifesto and operational expectations including the call to bring Demonoid back “by any means necessary.”
We will also be working hard on restoring what once was. We promise to work on this goal by any means necessary . Where one has fallen, many will rise to take their place.
#OpDemonoid has the following objectives:
1. Restore Demonoid services by any means necessary and, if possible, facilitate a series of mirror sites operated by free Anons everywhere. In essence, open source Demonoid.
2. Retaliate against those responsible for the interruption. And Lulz.
Our work will require time and patience but when we’re successful, and we will be, Demonoid will live again.
The Ukraine has been in the sights of Anonymous before and has also been part of being swift to raid and choke out cyberlockers running in their country as seen with the loss of Ex.ua in January 2012. After the MegaUpload debacle, Anonymous turned to DDoS against BMI and other entities involved in the raid and the prosecution—which seems to be going poorly for the US and set Kim Dotcom up as a folk hero for the cause of copyright reform. The collective takes a dim view of government censorship and has targeted Japan, Turkey, Syria, and even China for what human rights violations and the restriction of information from their populations.
Anonymous is better known to be more of an annoyance than a functional motivator in cases such as this, but a sustained DDoS attack can cripple websites for a few hours to days. Most governments will tout that they weathered the storm afterwards as if it’s an accomplishment; but it does help draw the attention of media and watchdog organizations to their activities.
And in this case, the Ukraine is obviously no friend to the BitTorrent, cyberlocker, cloud, or Internet community in general.