Two technology trade associations supporting legislation to improve U.S. cyber security said they suffered an attack from Anonymous.
Anonymous claimed credit for denial-of-service (DoS) attacks on the TechAmerica and USTelecom websites. The types of attacks usually involve flooding a website with traffic, causing it to crash.
The organizations said the attacks amount to reprisal for supporting the legislation, among cyber security bills under consideration by Congress, designed to encourage companies and government agencies to voluntarily share information about cyber threats.
Users couldn’t connect to the website for USTelecom, which represents telephone companies led by AT&T, Verizon Communications Inc., and CenturyLink Inc., starting April 8 and the site was “up and down” the day after as technicians worked to restore service, said Anne Veigle, a spokeswoman.
The website of TechAmerica, whose members include IBM, Microsoft Corp., and Apple, wasn’t loading Tuesday. The attack began April 8 and the association was working to get the site back up, said Stephanie Craig, a TechAmerica spokeswoman.
The trade groups support cyber security legislation introduced by Representatives Mike Rogers, a Michigan Republican who is chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, and C.A. “Dutch” Ruppersberger of Maryland, the panel’s top Democrat.
USTelecom officials spotted a Web posting that said Anonymous members took down the trade group’s website, said Karn Dhingra, a spokesman.
A Twitter account called @Anon_Central called the Rogers bill “draconian” and posted a link to groups and companies supporting the legislation.
“By launching a cyber attack in an effort to coerce, intimidate and stifle speech, members of Anonymous are acting contrary to the very freedoms and Internet norms that they espouse,” said Walter McCormick, president of USTelecom.
Shawn Osborne, TechAmerica’s president, said in a statement that “these types of strong-arm tactics have no place in the critical discussions our country needs to be having about our cyber security, they just underscore the importance of them.” TechAmerica will keep pushing for the Rogers bill, Osborne said.