DDoS attack hits U.K. record label and law firm

Ministry of Sound and its legal firm Gallant Macmillian are brought down by attacks yesterday launched by Anonymous group as latest salvo in file sharing battle.

Lance Whitney Contributing Writer
Lance Whitney is a freelance technology writer and trainer and a former IT professional. He's written for Time, CNET, PCMag, and several other publications. He's the author of two tech books--one on Windows and another on LinkedIn.
Lance Whitney
2 min read

Denial of service attacks launched by the group Anonymous took down the Web sites of U.K. record label Ministry of Sound and its legal firm Gallant Macmillian on Sunday.

The Anonymous group targeted the two sites as part of its battle against organizations that it believes are using strong-arm tactics to deal with those who share files on the Internet. The Ministry of Sound specifically hired Gallant Macmillian to identify and sue individuals who allegedly uploaded songs from its music catalog, according to The Register. Macmillian has reportedly sent out letters to those suspected of illegal file sharing.

As of Monday, the Ministry of Sound and Macmillian both remain offline. Though some reports say that both sites were brought down by the DDoS assaults, file sharing site Slyck said that Macmillian intentionally took down its site ahead of the scheduled attacks. That move prompted Anonymous to change its plans and hit the Ministry of Sound and the record label's music store payment site.

In a statement from Anonymous that Slyck posted before Sunday's attack, the group said it has targeted companies like Macmillian since "they have declared themselves our enemies by sending out thousands of blackmailing letters against innocents, seeking compensation for copyright infringements that don't exist."

Security vendor Panda Security last week posted a chat session that it conducted with someone reportedly from Anonymous. The unidentified person said the group's mission is to fight back against the antipiracy lobby, claiming that its outdated views on copyright infringement need to be changed in light of the Internet.

These latest attacks follow DDoS hits launched by Anonymous two weeks ago against the MPAA (Motion Pictures Association of America), the RIAA (Recording Industry Association of America), and a firm called Aiplex Software, which had been hired by the MPAA to go after sites that illegally share copyrighted content.