Business owners have unexpectedly found themselves in the crossfire of the WikiLeaks scandal as hackers and populist boycott movements have caused chaos during the peak of the holiday shopping season.
First, PayPal was shut down earlier in the week by hackers who were angered at its refusal to release WikiLeaks funds (which are donated through PayPal) and now Amazon .com has been hit with denial of service attacks, according to many media outlets.
The group, calling itself "Anonymous," has claimed responsibility for attacks on MasterCard, PayPal and Visa, announced the move on Twitter, writing, "Target: www.amazon.com locked on!!!" It also gave a link to instructions on how to attack the website, reported FoxNews.com.
PayPal was hit late Wednesday afternoon, Pacific time, and the Paypal.com address was unresponsive into early Thursday morning, according to ComputerWorld.com. "There have been attempted DDoS attacks on paypal.com this week," said company spokesman Anuj Nayar. "The attacks slowed the website itself down for a short while, but did not significantly impact payments."
Facebook was also suspected of being the next site to be attacked after the social networking site had deleted Facebook accounts used by Anonymous as well as groups it used to contact its supporters, FoxNews.com reported.
Despite the outages, small business owners told BusinessNewsDaily that, for the most part, they were able to carry on.
Brooklyn, N.Y.-based McClure’s Pickles takes PayPal when its products are ordered online. Joe McClure, co-founder of the company, which has operations in Michigan and New York, reported no problems because of the PayPal DNS attacks.
“I didn’t notice anything,” he told BusinessNewsDaily. “It was a little glitchty, but everything’s just fine. Things seem to be running smoothly.”
Mike Lawrence, owner of Havana Banana, a specialty bread baker in Laurel, Md, uses PayPal for his shopping chart. Yesterday’s denial of serve attacks on PayPal didn’t affect his business.
“It didn’t affect me at all,” Lawrence told BusinessNewsDaily. “I took a bunch of orders yesterday and got my money instantly.”