Word on the street is that Anonymous has been testing out a new weapon that they intend on using tomorrow as a cyber component to a physical protest on Wall Street. The new weapon, called #RefRef, is intended to replace their current weapon, the Low Orbit Ion Cannon (LOIC). Though designed to take down websites, #RefRef is not merely an iteration on the LOIC but functions in an entirely new way.
Anonymous’ distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks generally employ botnets to flood the target servers with requests. While the past iterations on the LOIC have increased the number of requests in the flood, #RefRef executes a DDoS from the inside out. Instead of orchestrating an army of zombies to request the target server, #RefRef initiates a flood of processes on the target server itself. #Refref has reportedly been tested on a number of sites including Pastebin (see picture) and Wikileaks. According to Anonymous, #RefRef is to be released tomorrow in concert with physical protesters during #OccupyWallSt.
Ever since OpPayPal and OpBart, Anonymous has been dabbling in more traditional protesting practices. As such, the release of #Refref is only one part of #OccupyWallStreet which consists largely of citizens (Anonymous affiliated and not) swarming Wall Street and camping out until some characteristically unclear demands are met. While the exact demands may not be easy to pin down, the protocol for the physical protest has been planned in great detail after a test protest resulted in the arrest of nine individuals.
As always, there’s no telling how Anonymous’ attack will manifest itself or what effect it might actually have. It’s worth noting that Anonymous has had success attacking financial institutions in the past and that was just with traditional methods. We’ll have to wait and see how powerful #RefRef really is; I have a feeling Anonymous will be chomping at the bit to show us, repeatedly.