An escalating war of words between users of the web site Tumblr and message board 4chan is set to reach a head today with both sides threatening distributed 'denial of service' attacks.
Twitter-style micro-blogging platform Tumblr enables its audience to 'follow' each others' content recommendations. The generally whimsical site came into conflict after being seen to encroach on the territory of the rowdier 4chan, which shares a similar audience of bored teenagers. Both sites have been accused of hosting pornographic content.
Disgruntled 4chan users called for a massive DDoS attack to bring down Tumblr on Sunday, the culmination of a campaign dubbed 'Operation Overlord'. Users were asked to flood the Tumblr network traffic, using fake profiles to post pornographic and gory images according to a report on gossip site Gawker.
4chan has a history of launching DDoS-style attacks on other websites, but it seems its latest attempt may have backfired after Tumblr users got wind of the threat and spread the word using the Tumblr network and on Twitter.
Tumblr uses threatened revenge with a tit-for-tat DDoS attack of their own, nicknamed 'Operation Overkitten', threatening to bombard their online rivals with "Kittens. Lots and lots of kittens."
The attack was due to begin at 17:00 today Eastern Time on Monday, but according to a report on IT news site TechCrunch, 4chan became unavailable on Sundaym, with visitors receiving a '404' error.
Reports indicate that a renowned 4chan user named Anon is involved in the current hostilities. Anon first came to prominence after using his hacking skills to track down a girl who gained notoriety after being seen on a video throwing puppies into a river to drown.