In what some might call a taste of its own medicine, 4chan has been knocked off the internet for a few hours.
In a strange, but not entirely surprising, reversal of fortunes, hackers brought down notorious image board 4chan with a distributed denial of service, or DDoS, attack in the early hours of Tuesday morning.
A DDoS attack floods a website with more traffic than it can handle. They are a common tool of the “hacktivist” group Anonymous – often closely associated with 4chan site – who use them against various websites and organizations that have raised their ire. Targets have included the likes of Gene Simmons, who advocated taking an incredibly hard line against internet piracy, and Amazon, in support of the WikiLeaks site after Amazon removed it from its servers.
4chan founder, Christopher “Moot” Poole, confirmed that the site was down thanks to a DDoS attacked, and joked that 4chan had joined an exclusive club that included the likes of PayPal, Visa and MasterCard – all recent Anonymous targets. While the site is now back up, security analyst Paul Mutton said that the attack persisted for quite some time, and had made 4chan slow to respond or outright unreachable.
No one has come forward to take responsibility for the attack yet, but whether warranted or not, the site has a longstanding association with raids and online activism, so the list of potential attackers must be fairly long.