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UPDATE Anonymous DDoS Attack Knocks the Virgin Media UK Site Offline

Wednesday, May 9th, 2012 (7:53 am) - Score 2,041
virgin media mr t

The website of UK cable operator Virgin Media looks to have been targeted by the Anonymous activist group, which has launched a serious Distributed Denial-of-Service (DDoS) attack against the provider. The move is believed to be in retaliation after the ISP responded to a court order (here) that required it to block broadband customers from accessing The Pirate Bay piracy site.

A DDoS attack works by effectively overloading a target server, such as that of a website, with masses of data requests from multiple internet connected computers. It’s understood that the attack resulted in Virgin Media’s website being taken offline for at least an hour yesterday, yet we note that it appears to be similarly slow and unstable this morning (at the time of writing we still can’t access it).

The problems follow last month’s High Court of Justice ruling, which imposed a court order demanding Sky Broadband, Everything Everywhere (Orange UK and T-Mobile), TalkTalk, O2 and Virgin Media to block the The Pirate Bay. A similar ruling was made against BT during February 2012 (here) and the ISPs have since been given until Friday 11th May 2012 to impose it (BT apparently has a little longer).

Virgin Medias April 2012 Statement

We’ve recently been issued with a court order that requires us to take steps to block access to the Pirate Bay website as it has been deemed to be infringing copyright. We alongside other ISPs in the UK are now legally obliged to block access to this site.

As a responsible ISP, we comply with court orders addressed to our company but we strongly believe that changing consumer behaviour to tackle copyright infringement also needs compelling legal alternatives, such as our agreement with Spotify, to give consumers access to great content at the right price.

Virgin Media, which officially began blocking The Pirate Bay on 2nd May 2012, has since confirmed that its site was indeed hit by a DDoS attack yesterday. Oddly the ISP claims that the site wasn’t taken offline by the attack itself: “Our website has been the subject of denial of service attacks so we’ve taken the site offline for a short period of time“. Sadly the site still appears to be suffering from problems this morning.

A tweet by the related activist group confirmed yesterday’s action: “#Anonymous have just taken down #VirginMedia website again because of their involvement in the #Censorship of The Pirate Bay #TPB #OpTPB“.

UPDATE 12:50pm

In an interesting twist The Pirate Bay has issued a statement condemning the attack on Virgin Media’s website.

The Pirate Bay Statement

Seems like some random Anonymous groups have run a DDOS campaign against Virgin media and some other sites. We’d like to be clear about our view on this.

We do NOT encourage these actions. We believe in the open and free internets, where anyone can express their views. Even if we strongly disagree with them and even if they hate us. So don’t fight them using their ugly methods. DDOS and blocks are both forms of censorship.”

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Mark Jackson
By Mark Jackson
Mark is a professional technology writer, IT consultant and computer engineer from Dorset (England), he also founded ISPreview in 1999 and enjoys analysing the latest telecoms and broadband developments. Find me on Twitter, , Facebook and Linkedin.
Leave a Comment
11 Responses
  1. Avatar me

    they have taken down virgin media because virgin hacked blocked piratebay and have said they won’t be appealing against the ruling. Other ISP’s will be challenging the ruling in court, this is why other isps weren’t targeted.

  2. Avatar Jack

    I’m loving the embedded ISPreview referral link to Virgin Media haha

  3. Avatar Deduction

    Virginmedias site/s are working fine for me. DDoS attacks are so very late 90s and basically achieve nothing nowadays except a few hours at most down time for a site.

  4. Avatar good

    It’s better than us just lying down and taking it. They need to see we are not happy about this censorship.

    Personally I will now start using the pirate bay out of protest. Stick that in your censorship pipe and smoke it.

  5. Avatar guy fawkes

    we are anonymous, virgin media.. expect us AGAIN.

  6. Avatar zemadeiran

    Why bother with their shit site?

    Now if some smart sods were to exploit their core routers and grind the network to a halt, that would seriously piss off many customers.

    We cannot however in good conscience effect Joe public like this as we all are members of Joe public.

    What the high court has done is limit our freedoms to communicate with sites hosted outside of the UK and in essence is the same shit that China is pulling.

    All this really is of no avail, there are already many PB mirrors in place with all kinds of domain names and ip’s which all bypass the block 🙂

    What the judges do not seem to realise is the fact that the upper echelon’s grip on the unwashed masses is ever looser without recourse.

    Anyone who say’s different is a wasteman…

  7. Avatar josh

    so this is why i dl is pitiful, ironic i was trying to dl from tpb was getting 125kbs on a 30mb connection.

  8. Avatar Deduction

    quote”It’s better than us just lying down and taking it. They need to see we are not happy about this censorship.

    Personally I will now start using the pirate bay out of protest. Stick that in your censorship pipe and smoke it.”

    Im sure they will be more than happy with your decision as that means you will be continuing to fund Virgins pockets monthly and rewarding them for their censorship.

    Virgin thereself and probably any ISP couldnt give a damn what you use the internet for as long as they get paid. If you have an issue with them not challenging wonky regulation that is forced upon them. The easiest way is not to continue to pay them for not challenging it.

  9. Avatar good

    Deduction, you presume VM is my ISP, they are not lol

    • Avatar Deduction

      The reply fits to any ISP that will blindly obey a site blocking order for no real legal reason without challenging it.
      Im currently with an ISP who may also end up blocking the pirate bay. I dont even use the pirate bay, but on principal ill just leave them if they follow others and block with no good reason. Actually im looking to get away from them anyway for the rubbish service in general they provide, so to be honest random site blocking will just be a cherry on top.

  10. Avatar AnonSec1-15

    We do not endorse DoS attacks. The groups are no longer affiliated with Anonymous, that being said. Neither are we. No one can be affiliated with Anonymous. Anonymous is not a group, collective or even a hacker-underworld. It is simply an idea.

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