Parts of the U.S. Justice Department Web site became inoperable yesterday after federal officials seized and shut down the file-sharing Web site Megaupload.com and arrested several of its executives on charges of violating piracy laws, the Washington Post reports. Anonymous, a group of Internet hackers, claimed responsibility via Twitter.
Barrett Brown, the Dallas-based founder of an online think tank that works with Anonymous, confirmed that Anonymous took down the Web sites using “distributed denial of service” attacks — essentially bombarding the sites with an overwhelming amount of traffic. A Twitter feed from Anonymous members said the group also attacked UniversalMusic.com and the Web sites of the Recording Industry Association of America and the Motion Picture Association of America. Kim Schmitz and three other executives of Megaupload.com were arrested in New Zealand at the request of U.S. officials.