MasterCard targeted for Wikileaks account freeze

8 Dec 2010

Credit card giants MasterCard Inc and Visa Europe have suspended card payments to Wikileaks, following the publication of sensitive US cables, and in retaliation 4Chan has taken down with orchestrated DDOS attacks.

MasterCard froze the accounts following Julian Assange’s arrest in the UK and the 4Chan and the internet vigilante group Anonymous retaliated while taking part in something called ‘Operation Payback’. They are organising support efforts through the Anon_Operation Twitter account.

MasterCard and Visa are blocking payments to the website and curtailed all donations in an effort to starve it out.

Cutting off payments

MasterCard said it was cutting off payments because Wikileaks was engaged in “illegal activity”, according to

Despite this, Wikileaks continues to disclose more secret cables. The latest documents released online detail unsure negotiations between Britain and Libya over the release of the Lockerbie bomber Abdelbaset al-Megrahi.

The cables detail British government fears over Libya’s potential “harsh and immediate action” against them should al-Megrahi die in prison.

Denial-of-service attacks against PayPal, Swiss bank Post Finance and other sites have also taken place as they refused their services to whistle-blowing site Wikileaks.

The attacks are being taken under the Operation: Payback banner, which was responsible for attacks against organisations involved in anti-piracy lawsuits against file sharers.

The website has been the centre of controversy since it published US embassy cables.