Sunday, December 12, 2010

WikiLeaks backlash: The first global cyber war has begun, claim hackers

Mark Townsend, Paul Harris in New York, Alex Duval Smith in Johannesburg, Dan Sabbagh, Josh Halliday, Saturday 11 December 2010 21.30 GMT

As Julian Assange is held in solitary confinement at Wandsworth prison, the anonymous community of hacktivists takes to the cyber battlefields

He is one of the newest recruits to Operation Payback. In a London bedroom, the 24-year-old computer hacker is preparing his weaponry for this week's battles in an evolving cyberwar. He is a self-styled defender of free speech, his weapon a laptop and his enemy the US corporations responsible for attacking the website WikiLeaks.

He had seen the flyers that began springing up on the web in mid-September. In chatrooms, on discussion boards and inboxes from Manchester to New York to Sydney the grinning face of a Guy Fawkes mask had appeared with a call to arms. Across the world a battalion of hackers was being summoned.

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