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Activists target bank's Web site in animal rights protest

Attempt 'virtual sit-in' using Floodnet

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Hacktivists have targeted the Web site of a US investment bank which saved a controversial drug testing company from liquidation with an attack designed to make its site unavailable.

The Web site of investment bank Stephens, which provides finance for Huntingdon Life Sciences, was yesterday subject to an attempted "virtual sit-in" by cyberactivists using a hacking tool called Floodnet.

At a predetermined time yesterday activists launched the Floodnet tool against Stephens site. This sent a barrage of repeated download requests to a site with the idea of making it too busy for others to use.

According to an email circulated to activists and obtained by the Register, the attack was organised by the Animal Liberation Internet Tactical Response Network, which provided information to activists on how to use Floodnet.

Today's edition of the Financial Times reports that Stephens has confirmed that its site was attacked but denied that activists were successful in completely disabling the site.

Stephens provided finance to Huntingdon Life Sciences in January after the Royal Bank of Scotland withdrew the firm's overdraft following protests by animal rights activists. ®

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