Gregg Housh, an unofficial spokesman for Anonymous, explains how the hactivist collective's voluntary botnet was powerful enough to bring down Visa and MasterCard websites.
'MasterCard died quick,' Gregg Housh, an unofficial spokesman for the hactivists known as Anonymous, says in an interview with the Monitor. 'Visa went down in 30 seconds.'
In an effort nicknamed "Operation Payback," a loose association of hackers called "Anonymous" has been targeting the websites of companies and organizations that have cut ties with WikiLeaks by overwhelming their sites with traffic, prompting them to shut down. Twitter and Facebook have blocked accounts for Anonymous, citing the illegality of their attacks as a terms-of-service violation. WikiLeaks' Facebook and Twitter accounts remain up and running. “Of course, Anonymous is expected to keep creating new accounts as quickly as Facebook and Twitter squash them; it’s a bit like Whack-a-Mole or doing battle with a hydra, in that sense,” said social media news website Mashable. "Fighting Anonymous is a task we wouldn’t wish on anyone." Below are some of the most notable attacks.
The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development group of industrialized nations released the results Tuesday of the test they give to 15-year-old students to measure math, science, and reading capabilities. The test, administered every three years by OECD's Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA), was taken in 2009 in the 34 countries of the OECD and in 41 partner countries and economies (i.e. regional economic entities). Below, some of the top findings in the study, which was released today:
Israeli officials are racing to contain wildfires that began in northern Israel on Thursday morning, prompting the evacuation of 17,000 and a rare request for international assistance. But while these fires are devastating for Israel – as of Friday they've killed at least 42 people and burned an estimated 8,600 acres in the tiny country – they are far smaller than other major forest fires around the globe.
In 2009, more than 33 million people worldwide were living with HIV. That's up from 26.2 million in 1999. Despite that staggering statistic, UNAIDS and other AIDS organizations are making progress in their efforts to control and eventually eradicate HIV/AIDS. World AIDS Day is a chance to take stock of how well these organizations are doing and where the world stands today.