Hacker group Anonymous has been threatening since February to "shut the Internet down" by launching a Distributed Denial of Service attack (DDOS) on Saturday (31 March). The attack will target the world’s 13 DNS servers so that Internet users will be unable to perform domain name lookups, thus temporarily disabling the Internet.
Anonymous is believed to be protesting in retaliation to 25 of its members being arrested last month, the arrests of six prime members from Lulzsec this month, the downfall of Megaupload and the continued threats of SOPA, PIPA and ACTA.
Anonymous is claiming that they will showcase the full extent of their botnet capabilities by compromising machines or clients running DHN software (which was developed by Lulzsec) to generate malformed UDP packets that will cause the DNS root servers to flood themselves with DNS responses and bring them down (check out a blog that explains the technology behind the attacks here).
However this seems unlikely because Anonymous has never offered any evidence that is capable of generating enough traffic to flood the root servers, which are massively overprovided with bandwidth. In addition, Anonymous is unlikely to explain to the world how it is going to perform an attack beforehand.
Certain factions of Anonymous have come forward on Twitter to deny that the attacks will be happening. A tweet from @YourAnonNews this morning read: “For the billionth time: #Anonymous will not shut down the Internet on 31 March. #OpGlobalBlackout is just another #OpFacebook failop. #yawn” while other Anonymous-related Twitter accounts seemed to be more interested in posting taunts to the FBI and engaging with the general public about hacking, anti-government and the fact that Lulzsec are still alive and well.
So will the Internet be brought down tomorrow? We’ll just have to see. Let us know in the comments below what you think about the proposed DDOS attacks – is it viable or just an April’s Fools joke?