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Wikileaks Internet War, Hackers Shut Down MasterCard, Banks WebSites

An anonymous group of hackers said Wednesday they had launched online attacks to shut down the websites of credit card Mastercard and a Swiss bank that cut off business ties with WikiLeaks.

A statement purportedly issued by the hacker, or hackers, at Twitter claimed the assault was retaliation for WikiLeaks "attempting to endanger the lives of our troops, other assets and foreign relations

The self-styled 'hacktivist' group dubbed Anon_Operation said in one tweet that " is down" and the site of the credit card giant could not be accessed from Geneva.

On their homepage the group, which claims it is fighting for "freedom on the internet" and against censorship designated as their "current target" in what was taking the proportions of cyber war.

The Swiss post office banking service, PostFinance, confirmed Wednesday that its website was suffering denial of service attacks since it closed the bank account of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange on Monday.

PostFinance closed an account set up by Assange because he gave "false information" on his address, claiming he lived in the Swiss city of Geneva, in violation of banking and money laundering rules.

The bank insists that any deposit belongs to Assange and the money can be transferred where he wishes.

"Since the closure of the account, groups have launched 'Operation Payback' with the aim of blocking PostFinance by simulating hundreds of thousands of connections with the aim of overloading it," said PostFinance spokesman Alex Josty.

The spokesman said the hackers had not endangered its payment systems or account managements.

US-based online payment service PayPal has also blocked financial transfers to WikiLeaks after governments around the world sought legal action against the site following its publication of sensitive US diplomatic cables.

Source : TOI

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