blocked the website of PayPal earlier this month in retribution to the company's decision to stop its customers from making donations to Wikileaks. That according to an affidavit posted in part by the legal watchdog website The Smoking Gun today. Dallas host Tailor Made Services was raided on the 16th of December, the site reported.The FBI has reportedly raided a Texas web host and worked with international authorities to search servers in pursuit of the anonymous leaders of the group Anonymous, who
"These coordinated attacks, investigators allege," writes The Smoking Gun, "amount to felony violations of a federal law covering the 'unauthorized and knowing transmission of code or commands resulting in intentional damage to a protected computer system.'" How several hours of inaccessibility constituted damage to the system was not described in the part of the affidavit posted online.
According to the affidavit, the investigation included the co-operation of authorities in Canada, France and Germany.
As for code, the LOIC DDoS software believed to be used by Operation Anonymous remain available on the social code site Github and on SourceForge. Thousands of people have downloaded it from those sites. The software allegedly makes it easy for a user to donate their computer's bandwidth to repeatedly messaging a target server until it is rendered inaccessible by other users.
The ephemeral group Anonymous, or Operation Payback, co-ordinated a series of such attacks earlier this month against Paypal, Mastercard, Visa and others. These global leaders in money transfer were criticized for preventing their customers from donating money to the controversial website Wikileaks, despite the site having been convicted of no crimes.
Clearly a sufficient number of people in the FBI believe the denial of service attacks may constitute felony-level damage to computer systems, but others have argued that the campaign falls broadly within the tradition of non-violent civil disobedience and political protest.
FBI Agent Allyn Lynd, whom The Smoking Gun reports signed the affidavit, has been in the technology news media before. He lead a 2009 raid on at least two Texas web hosts over an alleged federal crime concerning unpaid bills to AT&T and Verizon. Those raids disrupted a number of co-located but unrelated businesses, including some that allege the disruption cost them millions of dollars.
In this latest affidavit, Lynd argued again that he may need to disrupt some other servers temporarily in order to achieve his goal of determining which servers were relevant to his investigation. Due to the document's incomplete publication, whether any sense of irony was appreciated is unclear.
No information has been made available to date regarding any FBI or other law enforcement investigation of the denial of service and other technical attacks made against the Wikileaks website.