Anonymous brought down three Ukrainian government websites in the first part of a plan to avenge the loss of Demonoid, a popular bittorrent tracker seized by Ukrainian authorities earlier this week.
“In retaliation for your criminal acts against us and the free flow of information, we have already begun an operation against those responsible. Lazers are already being fired,” read a press release on anonpr.net, the collective's public relations blog.
The collective also released a statement on YouTube, condemning authorities involved in shutting down Demonoid with language that could be described as provocative, even for Anonymous.
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“This atrocity has been carried out by the copywrong police of Ukraine, as their gift to the United Fascists of America. We will not let this go unpunished. We will seek revenge against all criminals responsible and their punishments will be severe,” a digitized female voice stated in the video.
Sites belonging to the Ukrainian Anti-Piracy Association, the Ukrainian Agency for Copyright and Related Rights, and the National Television and Radio Broadcasting Council of Ukraine were all temporarily shut down in a distributed denial of service (DDoS) attack Wednesday night. Those websites have since returned to operational status.
The collective has two goals for what has been dubbed Operation Demonoid — revenge and the restoration of Demonoid. Thus far, Anonymous has only shown an ability to DDoS websites belonging to whom they deem responsible for the demise of Demonoid.
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Some internet denizens are claiming that the torrent tracker was brought down as a “gift” from the Ukrainian government to the United States — a gesture of good faith as the United States cracks down on copyright infringement.
Ukrainian news outlet Kommersant says that an unnamed source within the Ukrainian Interior Ministry stated that the raid on Demonoid was intended to coincide with Deputy Prime Minister Valery Khoroshkovsky’s visit to the United States.
One of the topics on the meeting agenda was copyright infringement, according to the same source.
According to data from internet analysis firm Alexa, Demonoid became one of the most visited websites in the world. At its peak in 2012, Demonoid was the 950th most visited website in the world and the 400th most visited site in the United States.