#CyberTRAX: A slow clap for Anonymous

10712553“Greetings citizens of Canada, we are Anonymous. Today, this 17th of June, 2015, we launched an attack against the Canadian Senate and Government of Canada websites in protest against the recent passing of Bill C-51.”

That was the opening to a video the online activist group posted Wednesday, as federal government websites fluctuated in and out of operation.

“Stand for your rights, take to the streets in protest this 20th of June, 2015,” the Anonymous video continued. “Disregard these laws, which are unjust, even illegal.”

Throughout the afternoon, dozens of government of Canada websites went down, including canada.ca, the site for Transport Canada and the page for the Department of Foreign Affairs. The outage also seemed to affect government Blackberrys, though Public Safety Minister Steven Blaney said no private information was compromised. Though the source of the attack was initially unclear, Anonymous eventually claimed responsibility and posted the video.

The irony of launching a cyber-attack to protest an anti-terrorism law was surely lost on this gaggle of virtual legionnaires. This attack — which took the form of a distributed-denial-of-service, or DDoS, attack — is not particularly sophisticated in nature and acts as more of a nuisance than a real security breach. Essentially, “attackers” flood the server with requests at such an overwhelming volume that it forces them to crash.

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