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MasterCard website goes down. Payback from WikiLeaks supporters?

December 8, 2010 No Comments

Unusually heavy Internet traffic Wednesday morning crashed MasterCard’s website, brought a shadowy Internet group into the limelight, and posed an intriguing question:

Did supporters of WikiLeaks – the website that recently leaked thousands of confidential government cables and whose founder has been arrested on rape charges – successfully attack one of the world’s largest credit-card companies? MasterCard cardholders could still use their credit cards, but the Purchase, N.Y., company’s website was down.

It was reported Tuesday that MasterCard and Visa were no longer allowing payments to WikiLeaks via their credit cards, following in the footsteps of PayPal, Amazon, and PostFinance.

On Wednesday, a largely anonymous Internet group, called Operation Payback, claimed responsibility for the attack. It announced, via Twitter, “WE ARE GLAD TO TELL YOU THAT http://www.mastercard.com/ is DOWN AND IT’S CONFIRMED!”

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