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"Some of you may have heard a few popcorn farts re: our sites being threatened by hackers," wrote KISS bassist Gene Simmons on his website yesterday, responding to a DDoS attack that took down GeneSimmons.com earlier this week. The attack was part of Operation Payback, a campaign that over the past few weeks has been targeting organizations who legislate and litigate in support of copyright laws. Loosely organized by Anonymous, a group of Internet "vigilantes" has launched a series of denial-of-service attacks against the likes of the MPAA, the RIAA, the UK Intellectual Property Office, as well as against the KISS bassman.
The direct action campaign has effectively shut down sites that have been most vocal (and litigious) about their pro-copyright and anti-piracy stances. It has also targeted law offices that have been deemed to be part of a what TorrentFreak has called "pay-up-or-else" schemes, threats of legal action aimed at alleged file-sharers. Anonymous's DDoS attacks have targeted well over a dozen sites over the past few weeks. According to TorrentFreak, the attacks against Gene Simmons were controversial among those associated with Anonymous, some arguing that it's better to target the legal mechanisms of the film and music industry, rather than artist themselves. But Simmons has painted a fairly large target on himself (or on his site, at least), by speaking out in recent weeks against file-sharing, arguing that the music industry should be suing more people: "Make sure your brand is protected, be litigious, sue anybody - take their homes, their cars, Don't let anybody cross that line." Simmons's site is down at the time of publishing (Update: as of Monday morning, the website now redirects to the BitTorrent site Pirate Bay), but Slyck posted a copy of the response to the DDoS attack that was posted there yesterday:
Some of you may have heard a few popcorn farts re: our sites being threatened by hackers. Our legal team and the FBI have been on the case and we have found a few, shall we say "adventurous" young people, who feel they are above the law. And, as stated in my MIPCOM speech, we will sue their pants off. First, they will be punished. Second, they might find their little butts in jail, right next to someone who's been there for years and is looking for a new girl friend. We will soon be printing their names and pictures. We will find you. You cannot hide. Stay tuned
As Slyck notes, the ability to identify those who are participating in a distributed denial-of-service attack would be pretty challenging, if not impossible. But Simmons's threats and attitude (not to mention his lack of understanding of "hackers") echoes his misunderstanding that everyone who participates in peer-to-peer file-sharing is a criminal who needs to have their pants sued off or end up in jail. Better round up the KISS Army, Gene. This battle could be brutal.