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4chan flings faeces at Gawker

News blog stumbles after hacker twattery

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An attack by hackers at 4chan on Gawker left the news blog intermittently unavailable on Wednesday.

4chan's denizens reportedly launched the attack in reprisal to a recent article on Gawker about the alleged harassment of an 11-year-old girl by users of the image board.

The DDOS assault on Gawker began on Tuesday and peaked around Wednesday lunchtime (EST).

Journalist Adrien Chen and editors at Gawker have also been at the receiving end of malicious spam and Facebook messages, some of which have been directed towards their families, the Atlantic Wire reports. One message, sent to a editor's wife, make false claims that he is involved in an extra-marital affair.

Spam email, some containing porn, and threats to reveal personal information have also featured in the attack.

Gawker, whose site is running normally at the time of writing on Thursday, said the attacks were aimed at stopping it from writing about 4chan, a demand it shows no willingness to obey.

Anarchic internet hangout 4chan sent a little more hate Gawker's way today, launching a denial of service attack against our website, spamming our email accounts and even trying to bother one staffer's spouse. All so we'd stop talking about them. Angry users of 4chan's notoriously freewheeling /b/ forum inundated Gawker Media's servers with traffic around 1:30 pm Eastern, reprising a similar distributed attack the prior day. The attack slowed down sites across the Gawker Media network, including Gawker.com, where the number of active users on the site fell sharply for approximately an hour before normal service was restored.

4chan is the birthplace of the long-running Anonymous campaign against the Church of Scientology, which also featured denial of service attacks during its early days. More recently, pranksters from 4chan took advantage of a vulnerability on YouTube to redirect surfers looking for Justin Bieber video clips to shock sites such as Goatse or false reports that the Canadian singer had died in a car crash.

Over the years 4chan has popularised many internet memes, such as lolcats and Rickrolling, among others. ®

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

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