December 8th, 2010
02:58 PM ET

Is it war?

Some groups say they're out to defend the WikiLeaks website and its jailed founder, Julian Assange.  He has been denied bail as a UK court considers extraditing him to Sweden, where he’s wanted for questioning about alleged sex crimes. 

A hacker group called "Anonymous" has launched what it calls "Operation: Payback." Its latest target has been MasterCard, which suspended financial services to WikiLeaks… and it’s claiming success via Twitter.

 MasterCard says its site has experienced heavy traffic but did not confirm the cyber attack.  The company also says there’s no impact on cardholders.

“Operation: Payback” has previously claimed to hit other companies that stopped working with WikiLeaks, including PayPal and Swiss bank PostFinance.  The group shows no sign of letting up, and is asking for suggested targets on its website.

One member calls this “the first infowar.”  What do you think?

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Filed under: General • Social networking