NEW YORK (CNNMoney) -- In one of the U.S. government's largest anti-piracy crackdowns ever, federal agents on Thursday arrested the leaders of and shut down Megaupload.com, a popular hub for illegal media downloads.
Hours later, Megaupload's fans turned the table on the feds. "Hacktivist" collective Anonymous said it set its sights on the U.S. Department of Justice and apparently knocked the agency's website offline.
"We are having website problems, but we're not sure what it's from," a DOJ spokeswoman told CNNMoney.
The DOJ website glitches came soon after various Twitter accounts associated with Anonymous took aim at the agency.
Anonymous has sure been quiet lately, but today's federal bust of Megaupload riled 'em up good: a retaliatory strike against DoJ.gov (and plenty of other foes) leaving them completely dead.
DownForEveryoneOrJustMe.com is reporting the department's site as universally nuked, and an Anonymous-affiliated Twitter account is boasting success. This is almost certainly the result of a quickly-assembled DDoS attack—and easily the widest in scope and ferocity we've seen in some time. If you had any doubts Anonymous is still a hacker wrecking ball, doubt no more.
The combination of the hacking nebula's SOPA animosity—they've been a vocal opponent of the bill since its inception—combined with today's sudden Megaupload news has made the group bubble over: hundreds upon hundreds of Anon operatives are in a plotting frenzy, chatting about which site will go down next. In Anon's eyes, the government and media interests are responsible for the undue destruction of Megaupload (and the arrest of four of its operators), so it'll be exactly those entities that're feeling the pain right now. Pretty much every company that makes movies, TV, or music, along with the entirety of the federal government, is in Anonymous' crosshairs.
Update: Anonymous says they've also knocked off the RIAA's site—looks down for us at the moment as well.
Update 2: Universal Music Group has also fallen off an e-cliff.
Update 3: Goodbye for now, MPAA.org.
Update 4: Affected sites are bouncing in and out of life, and are at the very least super slow to load. Anon agents are currently trying to coordinate their DDoS attacks in the same direction via IRC.
Update 5: The US Copyright Office joins the list.
Update 6: This Anon sums up the mood in their "official" chat room at the moment:Update 7: Russian news service RT claims this is the largest coordinated attack in Anonymous' history—over 5,600 DDoS zealots blasting at once.Danzu: STOP EVERYTHING, who are we DoSing right now?
Update 8: the Anonymous DDoS planning committee is chittering so quickly, it's making my laptop fan spin.
Update 9: Major record label EMI is down for the count.
Update 10: La résistance est international—French copyright authority HADOPI bites the dust under Anon pressure.
Update 11: The Federal Bureau of Investigation has fallen and can't get up.
Filesonic, one of the Internet’s leading cyberlocker services, has taken some drastic measures following the Megaupload shutdown and arrests last week. In addition to discontinuing its affiliates rewards program and not yet paying accrued money to members, the site has disabled all sharing functionality, leaving users only with access to their own files.