OMG ! ! 'Anonymous' says it won't shut down internet

A world famous newspaper Times of India says that "NEW DELHI: Will hackers, allegedly associated with a group called Anonymous, shut down internet on March 31? According to the group's Twitter account, from where it communicates with the world, the answer is no.

"What is this #OperationGlobalBlackout nonsense? I thought we settled this back in February? It won't happen. Stop asking us about it! >.<," the group's account (@youranonnews) tweeted on March 29.

Another account (@AnonymousIRC), added, "Dear Netizens, Internet will remain online. And to the death we will defend it. Always. Sail strong and do not get distracted by trolls."

Incidentally, the rumour that hackers associated with Anonymous were planning to bring down the internet gained credence on Friday after IANS, a news agency, quoted Interpol's secretary general, Ronald K Noble saying the threat was real.

"Operation Global Blackout 2012 looks to shut down the internet for a whole day tomorrow (Saturday) by disabling its core DNS servers, making websites inaccessible," he reportedly told the news agency in New Delhi.

Anonymous is a loosely knit group of hackers and hacktivists. In the past, they have attacked government and corporate websites to protest what they perceived was injustice. The group had even played a role in keeping the web working for protestors in Middle East last year when countries like Egypt and Tunisia shut down the internet after widespread protests.

In the last few months, law enforcement authorities in several countries have arrested a number of alleged Anonymous members.

The news about a crippling attack on the internet surfaced last month when a document was posted on a website called Pastebin, which in the past was often used by hackers belonging to Anonymous and Lulzsec, to communicate with the press.

"To protest SOPA, Wallstreet, our irresponsible leaders and the beloved bankers who are starving the world for their own selfish needs out of sheer sadistic fun, On March 31, anonymous will shut the Internet down," stated the note. It highlighted that internet can be shut down by attack on 13 root DNS servers that play a crucial role in making sure that web users reach their desired websites.

But the problem with Pastebin note is that the website can be used by anyone to post any note. Mohit Kumar, a whitehat hacker and founder of the Hacker News website, said the threat to internet is "bogus". He said, "I can go and post anything on Pastebin in anyone's name. Even if the note is true, technically it is not possible for a few hackers to attack and shutdown 13 root servers."

On March 29, @youranonnews also said, "For the billionth time: #Anonymous will not shut down the Internet on 31 March. #OpGlobalBlackout is just another #OpFacebook failop. #yawn".

OpFacebook is reference to a hacking operation that was supposed to bring down Facebook on November 5 (Guy Fawkes Day) last year. At that time Anonymous had said that somebody was playing prank. The OpFacebook never materialized. The note about Facebook attack was also posted on Pastebin."

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