The hacker group Anonymous has announced plans to completely disable the internet this coming Saturday March 31st. The move is Ambitious even with Anonymous’ reputation and many are surprised and morbidly interested at the news. The group announced the plans on a Manifesto uploaded to pastebin on February 19th. As with all of the groups actions it is impossible to determine at this point the level of support the group has and the level of expertise it has. Nobody is quite sure whether or not they can pull it off. If they can it will be a sharp wake up call to the entire world. Seeing day to day operations in a world without instantaneous communication is something almost heinous in many people’s eyes. There also exist those precious few, the children, who have never really been expose to a single day without data transmission.
The credibility of the attack is still in question and will be until a success or failure is confirmed. The group’s plan outlines in reasonable detail the program they will be using to carry out the attack and what the rationale and method will be. The motive behind the new threat is apparently a protest against SOPA, an anti-piracy act whose profile has fallen quickly since previous protests earlier this year. This demonstration seems overkill in that respect.
The plan suggests an attack on what the group calls the internet’s thirteen root servers. If the servers are overloaded with requests from IP addresses it will stop redirecting others and all DNS lookups will fail leading to any http internet interaction being impossible. Though the internet itself would not actually stop working, the web which is the main use for it among the public. Communication would still be possible over separate internet frameworks and devices, such as payment mechanisms, should not be effected by a disruption.
A security firm, Errata Security, said that while such an attack was possible it was unlikely to be successful on Saturday. Their statement suggested that problems would probably be caused at a local level but not at the global level Anonymous i suggesting. Whether or not it works it certainly must give pause to all of us who have allowed the internet to dominate our lives and assimilate into everything we do. Maybe a day with no access forced on everyone would do everybody some good