Voluntary Botnet

This is kind of an interesting premise that’s not at all new but being report as such by several source. MasterCard has been under a massive distributed denial of service (DDoS) attack. The attack was set off after MasterCard refused to allow customers to user their card to make donations to Wikileaks. This story is so multifaceted that I don’t know where to begin.

First this shows what kind of power companies like MasterCard and Visa can wield when they decide to no longer be a common carrier (allow customers holding their card to make payments to whoever they chose). It’s even more interesting since Wikileaks hasn’t actually done anything illegal meaning these moves are purely business.

Needless to say if you piss off the Internet is pissed on you back. MasterCard is currently under a DDoS attack but not by the usual malware created botnet. News sources are saying it’s by a voluntary botnet. Basically people are downloading an application called Low Orbit Ion Cannon (not to mistaken with GDI’s weapon of mass destruction that really does a good job of shoving it up Kane’s ass). Low Orbit Ion Cannon apparently connects to an invite-only IRC server and allows your system to become part of a botnet. Once the connection is established you system sends out constant traffic to a targeted node on the Internet.

Even more interesting is the fact that performing DDoS attacks is generally illegal. Most of the times the owners of the systems that are in a botnet aren’t held accountable because they did not knowingly allow control of their system to be taken. This case is different since each participant is voluntarily becoming part of the attacking botnet. This shows once again though that simply making something illegal is not a deterrent.

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