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FBI Investigating 4chan and Anonymous Over DDoS Attacks

4chan Under InvestigationAccording to sources in contact with CNET, the FBI is pushing forward with an investigation of 4chan and the Internet vigilante collective known as Anonymous, which has loose ties to the controversial message board. Anonymous and its members, who frequent the 4chan boards, have unleashed a flurry of DDoS (distributed denial of service) attacks over the past few months on individuals and organizations that it views as enemies in the war over piracy and copyright policy. The hacker collective took down sites for the MPAA, the RIAA, Hustler, Gene Simmons and even the U.S. Copyright Office, among others.

4chan and Anonymous have even drawn the ire of those who support their cause, because their DDoS-heavy attacks are viewed as counterproductive. In particular, groups like the Electronic Frontier Foundation and the ACLU have criticized the tactic, although their rebukes of Anonymous have not gone far enough to satisfy either the RIAA or MPAA. Jonathan Lamy, a spokesman for the RIAA, told CNET that the free speech advocates' lukewarm objections are unconvincing. "At best, it's convenient indifference," he said. "At worst, it's quiet cheerleading." With federal law enforcement officials now taking a serious look at 4chan and Anonymous, it appears that Gene Simmons's roundly ridiculed threat that the attackers "might find their little butts in jail" could actually come to fruition.

Tags: 4chan, anonymous, copyright, ddos, fbi, mpaa, piracy, riaa, security, top, web