The latest publicised and warned off attack by the hacktivist movement known as Anonymous is just around the corner. Operation Global Blackout, set to occur on 31st March, will target the world's 13 main DNS servers in an effort to temporarily shut down the internet. While most expect that to be an aim just out of reach of the hacking collective, there is some worry that a global slow down could occur.
The Anons have made good on threats in the past, using tools like the Low Orbit Ion Cannon to perform Distributed Denial of Service (DDOS) attacks. This is the same method that the movement plans to use in the DNS takedown attempt, but will it be successful?
While websites and specific domains have been targeted in the past, taking down DNS servers is an entirely different animal. The Anons claim this will be a great test of their botnet capabilities, but even with all the combined power of many, many machines, would it be possible to affect the Internet at large?
Potentially. There are several DNS vulnerabilities which have been well known for a while, so there is the possibility that this attack will work to some extent.
Some have questioned why a group of adamant proponents of Internet free speech would attempt to shut the Internet down, albeit temporarily. The AnonymousIRC Twitter account had a short message:
"Dear Netizens, Internet will remain online. And to the death we will defend it. Always. Sail strong and do not get distracted by trolls."