Last night, Anonymous, through its @AnonymousIRC Twitter account, launched a boycott of PayPal. Unlike previous campaigns, Anonymous did not organize a DDoS (Distributed Denial of Service) attack, which overloads a website and causes it to crash. This time, as one supporter described it, they were launching a DBoS (Distributed Boycott of Services). Backstory: Anonymous launched a DDoS attack on PayPal in December when the online-payment site refused to let users donate to WikiLeaks. Last week, the FBI announced the arrest of 14 people it said participated in that campaign. On Monday, the student newspaper at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas reported that one of its students, Mercedes Renee Haefer, 20, was one of the 14 arrested. On Monday night, @AnonmousIRC tweeted a link to another story purportedly showing a picture of Haefer. Her name had been reported before, and her attorney was quoted as comparing her to Daniel Ellsberg, who famously leaked the Pentagon Papers in 1971. Maybe it was the photo – a webcam shot of an attractive young woman wearing headphones – that got Anonymous fired up. Ironically, a face to sympathize with. @AnonymousIRC retweeted people who said they had closed their PayPal accounts and shared screencaps to prove it.
Earlier this morning, Anonymous was getting excited when eBay, the parent company of PayPal, started to see its stock price drop. Anonymous says this is only stage one of a three-stage campaign.