When Anonymous hit PayPal with DDoS attacks on Dec. 6 2010, attacks which were in retaliation for PayPal’s shutting down the Wikileaks donation lifeline, the site was collecting traffic logs on the hackers all along. PayPal turned the logs, including Internet Protocol addresses, over to the FBI on Dec. 15, and a report today revealed the FBI used the logs to serve warrants on 40 hackers in January and arrest 14 in July.
According to the warrant, which was unearthed by NBC Dallas-Fort Worth after a suspected Anonymous member’s house was raided, the suspect list handed over by Paypal is 1,000-hackers long. The FBI plans to start at the top and work its way down the list.
According to Wired’s analysis of the Affidavit, PayPal contacted the FBI the same day it froze the Wikileaks account. Suspecting a hacker retaliation, PayPal installed a tool on their network called a Radware intrusion prevention system. This tool documented “approximately 1,000 IP addresses that sent malicious network packets to PayPal during the DDoS attacks.” PayPal turned the data over to the FBI in December, and the FBI used the IP addresses to locate involved computers.
Anonymous responded to the news of PayPal’s complicity in the FBI investigation today. Uploading a “communique” to Pastebin, Anonymous called for a boycott of PayPal and decried the FBI’s investigation as an unjust clampdown on “those who are involved in ethical, modern cyber operations.”
According to Anonymous’s message, those arrested could face more than 15 years in prison and $500,000 in fines.
The Pastebin response also said the FBI’s arrests targeted only the small individuals of Anonymous, punishing them with the same severity as someone who had orchestrated the DDoS attacks.
“What the FBI needs to learn is that there is a vast difference between adding one’s voice to a chorus and digital sit-in with Low Orbit Ion Cannon, and controlling a large botnet of infected computers,” according to the statment. “And yet both of these are punishable with exactly the same fine and sentence.”
In calling for the PayPal boycott, Anonymous nudged people to tweet pictures of their closed PayPal accounts.