Anonymous and Lulz Security, in an open letter to PayPal and its customers titled, “A message to PayPal, its customers, and our friends,” is taking a new approach to punish the company, this time legally, with what some are calling “DBoS” or Distributed Boycott of Service, a play on illegal DDoS attacks, a tactic that hacktivists have used in the past.
In a continuing protest against PayPal as it continues to withhold funds from WikiLeaks, the hacktivists are urging users to close their PayPal accounts. “We encourage anyone using PayPal to immediately close their accounts and consider an alternative. The first step to being truly free is not putting one’s trust into a company that freezes accounts when it feels like, or when it is pressured by the U.S. government,” the statement said.
Will people really respond? Yes, but with over 100 million active accounts, it will be challenging to significantly impact PayPal’s business. The initiative is also being supported and spread by WikiLeaks which could show some impact, however. “We support the work of #Anonymous in drawing attention to the economic blockade of #Wikileaks by corrupt financial institutions,” WikiLeaks posted via Twitter. Supposedly thousands of accounts have already been closed as users take part in the movement.
In addition to encouraging users to close accounts, in typical Anonymous & Lulz Security fashion, the hacktivists taunted PayPal and the FBI via the @AnonymousIRC twitter feed. “So #Paypal You sue our people for $500.000 | it’ll take you years to get a fraction of that. Let us show you what we can do in one day,” they wrote.
Today’s letter follows a separate letter addressed to the FBI and international law authorities last week that addressed comments by the FBI in an article published by NPR surrounding the recent arrest of alleged members of the Anonymous hacking group.
The full letter is below, which was published via Pastebin this morning.
Dear PayPal, its customers, and our friends around the globe,
This is an official communiqué from Anonymous and Lulz Security in the name of AntiSec.
In recent weeks, we’ve found ourselves outraged at the FBI’s willingness to arrest and threaten those who are involved in ethical, modern cyber operations. Law enforcement continues to push its ridiculous rules upon us – Anonymous “suspects” may face a fine of up to 500,000 USD with the addition of 15 years’ jailtime, all for taking part in a historical activist movement. Many of the already-apprehended Anons are being charged with taking part in DDoS attacks against corrupt and greedy organizations, such as PayPal.
What the FBI needs to learn is that there is a vast difference between adding one’s voice to a chorus and digital sit-in with Low Orbit Ion Cannon, and controlling a large botnet of infected computers. And yet both of these are punishable with exactly the same fine and sentence.
In addition to this horrific law enforcement incompetence, PayPal continues to withhold funds from WikiLeaks, a beacon of truth in these dark times. By simply standing up for ourselves and uniting the people, PayPal still sees it fit to wash its hands of any blame, and instead encourages and assists law enforcement to hunt down participants in the AntiSec movement.
Quite simply, we, the people, are disgusted with these injustices. We will not sit down and let ourselves be trampled upon by any corporation or government. We are not scared of you, and that is something for you to be scared of. We are not the terrorists here: you are.
We encourage anyone using PayPal to immediately close their accounts and consider an alternative. The first step to being truly free is not putting one’s trust into a company that freezes accounts when it feels like, or when it is pressured by the U.S. government. PayPal’s willingness to fold to legislation should be proof enough that they don’t deserve the customers they get. They do not deserve your business, and they do not deserve your respect.
Join us in our latest operation against PayPal – tweet pictures of your account closure, tell us on IRC, spread the word. Anonymous has become a powerful channel of information, and unlike the governments of the world, we are here to fight for you. Always.
Signed, your allies,
Lulz Security (unvanned)