London, Jan 20 (IANS) The US government and entertainment industry websites have been crippled after the “hacktivist” group Anonymous launched a series of cyber attacks in retaliation for the closure of Megaupload.com, the daily Telegraph reported Friday.
The filesharing website, which allowed users to freely exchange large video and audio files, was closed overnight and its operators were charged with criminal copyright infringement, the newspaper said.
They are accused of deliberately ignoring requests from film and music firms to remove pirated material, while making more than $175 million from membership fees and advertising.
Anonymous supporters attacked the websites of the Department of Justice, the FBI and the Universal Music Group, among others.
The hacktivists used a technique called a Distributed Denial of Service to overload their targets with web traffic and effectively force them offline.
The attacks on official websites were only briefly effective but Universal Music remains offline.
Security experts warned that Anonymous was using a new tactic that meant people might unknowingly participate in its attacks.