Visa Down, Facebook Next?

Operation Payback has downed Visa.com. Is Facebook next?

Visa Down, Facebook Next?

Earlier today the anonymous hacker group Operation Payback took down Mastercard.com as part of a targeted campaign against the websites of companies and organizations that sought to disable WikiLeaks. Now, Visa.com is down, and Facebook.com has just disabled Operation Payback’s fan Page.

Visa Inc., according to its official investor report, bills a global volume of $2.6 trillion per year. That works out to about $400 million per hour. As of right now Visa.com has been down for about 90 minutes. I haven’t been able to figure out what percentage of that $400 million billing per hour actually counts as revenue made via its website, but one imagines this must be highly disruptive for the company at the very least.

Within the last hour, Facebook shut down Operation Payback’s Facbeook page. According to its own description the hacker organization will target “major anti-piracy & anti-freedom entities.” Does Facebook count as an enemy of freedom now that that they’ve banned the grassroots fan page? And if so, will Facebook be the next site to go down in Operation Payback’s crosshairs?

The organization is debilitating the target sites via DDOS attacks, which overwhelm the sites’ servers by flooding them with titanic amounts of dummy traffic. So far the group has succeeded in downing sites of WikiLeaks enemies Joe Libermann, Sarah Palin, Mastercard, and the Swiss banking service that froze Julian Assange’s funds.

Facebook’s 500 million registered users worldwide know that the site is famously bug-free—Facebook never suffers the kind of server shortages and outage problems that other popular networks like Twitter do. This is partly due to Facebook’s Cassandra server system, which is supposed to be infallible, and was, of course, invented by Zuckerberg himself.

Taking down Facbook would be the ultimate coup d’etat for an anarchist hacker group. To watch the progress of Operation Payback, follow their Twitter page, which should have more announcements soon.