#OpLibertyCity: In a message update posted at Pastebin.com on September 24, 2012, the hacktivist group Anonymous appears to be adding to the list of URLs they’re targeting for a DDoS attack on the city of Philadelphia. Recent reports at InfoWars.com followed the attack on Internet hosting provider GoDaddy.com, which may have been the responsibility of someone within the Anonymous organization, and which resulted in a shut-down of millions of websites.
On September 22 the Daily Caller reported that the city of Philadelphia and Councilman Kenyatta Johnson had been targeted by Anonymous because of a dispute over a vacant lot between the city of Philadelphia and small business owner and developer Ori Feibush.
Anonymous message: #OpLibertyCity
On his blog, PleaseFixPhilly.com, Feibush explains how he’s ended up being the subject of a lawsuit initiated by the city of Philadelphia.
Feibush says he opened up one of the first new businesses on Point Breeze’s blighted commercial corridor in years. According to Feibush, he was delayed and stonewalled by elected officials at every turn while trying to open his new business.
Watch the Anonymous Video in the left sidebar
Behind his coffee shop was a vacant lot that had sat abandoned for 36 years and Feibush says he spent six years trying to get someone from the city to clean it up. He even tried to purchase the lot but the city refused to sell it to him. Finally, he spent $30,000 of his own money to remove more than 40 tons of trash and turned the lot into a little park with a new sidewalk, some cherry trees, a fence and park benches.
Now, Philadelphia’s Redevelopment Authority is threatening to sue Feibush, claiming that they’d been planning to sell that property. NBC1 Philadelphia says, “The Executive Director of the Redevelopment Authority says Feibush was given specific instructions by the city to stay off the land. ‘Despite our very clear message to Mr. Feibush that he not enter with a landscaping crew, that’s precisely what he did,’ said Covington.”
In an earlier call to action posted on September 21 at Pastebin.com, Anonymous stated,
“If the city did the same project it would have cost about 1.5 million USD. Failure to act may also have been a deliberate attempt to drive down property value, then develop it for a profit. Anonymous can only presume that a few government officials and contractors are butthurt because they aren’t getting their kickbacks this year, due to this benevolent ‘trespasser.’”
“We now know why you purposefully destroy the land value. We have discovered that you have purchased 2040 Ellsworth Street four years ago for a mere five hundred dollars, despite being valued in excess of fifty thousand dollars. The Philadelphia Redevelopment Authority does not discuss that sale, because City Councilman Kenyatta Johnson just bought a new house on that very lot. How is this not tax fraud?”
Originally, Anonymous demanded that the “city of Philadelphia immediately retract all claims of wrongdoing by Mr. Feibush and that they seek to arrange amicable compensation for his expenses incurred while doing the government of Philadelphia’s job.”
In their follow-up message Anonymous said,
“You have now gained the further attention of Anonymous, Occupy Philadelphia, and the people of Point Breeze. Now you must suffer the consequences of your corruption. It is not Anonymous who will bring your corruption to an end, but the people of Philadelphia whom you have betrayed for the sake of greed. Philadelphia is the birthplace of Liberty. Now you will see what true Liberty is all about.”
The September 23 message labels the attack using #OpPRA and #OpPhillyGovTrash and provides target URLs for the attack, along with information and links to the HOIC Torrent and the message “Valid targets through the 15th of October, fire at will!” and promises a “Laz0r party every night at 8pm EST (GMT -5).” The group is also using #FAXBomB and targetting Kenyatta Johnson’s fax number.
HOIC is a High Orbit Ion Cannon which Anonymous and other hackers use to perform DDoS attacks on websites. In a video that Anonymous has removed from the Internet, one user explained that all you have to do is plug in the URL you want to attack and push a button. After that it’s like you’re sitting there hitting the refresh button a million times and it overloads that target URL with so much activity it crashes under the weight.
A new message posted by Anonymous on September 24 contains at least 11 URLs, all relevant to Councilman Kenyatta Johnson, along with the message, “If you want to improve the attack, add URLs belonging to this domain or related sub-domains!!! Pro-tip: You should create a new target and .HOIC file if u want to attack a different organization.”
Someone calling himself @AnonyousOwn3r claimed sole responsibility for bringing down GoDaddy.com servers on September 10, 2012 but it was never clear if he was connected with Anonymous. GoDaddy apologized to users and blamed the service interruption on an internal server error.