Revenge of the file-sharers: 4chan takes on anti file-sharing lawyers ACS:Law and data flies

1149pirate_thumb.jpgBritish legal firm ACS:Law – known as the scourge of file-sharers for sending out aggressive fine letters to people they thought had been sharing files – was hacked by what is believed to be members from 4chan.

A Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) strike.attack took down the ACS site (it’s still down) leaving lists of personal data revealed, and now republished in many places online. The attack was co-ordinated by 4chan members as part of a sting called “Operation: Payback Is A Bitch” which also targeted music and film industry sites citing revenge for ACS’s attack on internet pirates as their motivation, according to the Register.

The problem for ACS:Law is not just that the site is down, but that they have now been accused of storing that data illegally and are now being taken to court for privacy breaches by non-profit organisation Privacy International.

According to TorrentFreak – the retaliation also took a more personal twist when ACS owner Andrew Crossley was harrassed by prank phone calls to his home number in the middle of the night.

Of course the lost data isn’t just a problem for ACS:Law, it’s also a problem for the people on the list whose data (names, addresses and credit card details) is now floating around the internet ripe for cyber criminals. In one list in particular ACS had been storing up data on users they thought might be sharing porn – that list is now public.

[via Computerworld]

UPDATED: 19:06 27/9/10

Anna Leach


  • This story is terrible. The server was not hacked. A DDoS attack simply forces more data to the server than it can handle causing it to go offline. Once the traffic stops, the server will continue as normal. This was all down to an inept admin who failed to secure the server – leaving anyone who happened to visit the site able to download the unencrypted backups with nothing more than a mouse click!

  • Get Your facts straight before printing this news story. The backup was up for grabs for anyone that noticed.
    There is some admin somewhere crying into there coffee.

  • Nothing was stolen and no one was hacked, get your facts straight.

    The website was taken down by a DDoS attack, when it came back up, the website had available for all to see a backup of the companies emails.

    No hacking, no theft, just click and download, anyone and everyone could have done that.

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