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The bells were ringing.
NEW YORK (Rixstep) — PayPal's owner eBay suffered a $1.3 billion loss on NASDAQ today as the Anonymous campaign #opPAYPAL took its toll.
An estimated 20,000 - 30,000 PayPal customers also closed their accounts in protest.
Things started innocently enough. US and UK troops committed a few innocent war crimes. Nothing special. Then WikiLeaks published the data on the crimes. Whoa. Then Joe Lieberman gets in the picture once Cablegate hits the net and talks to Visa, MasterCard, PayPal and others who immediately shut down donations to WikiLeaks. So Anonymous respond by unleashing their Low Orbit Ion Cannon on the sites. They're all knocked offline for a day. And they're furious! Someone dared interfere with their revenue streams? This cannot stand.
So the FBI get in the act. They're now going to pursue the legions of Anonymous who took part in the denial of service. Proper use of the Low Orbit Ion Cannon requires users obfuscate their sender IPs through an anonymisation process. Some didn't. One such was Mercedes Haefer of the University of Nevada at Las Vegas.
The FBI were given web logs by PayPal. They took the 1000 most active sender IPs and went after them. They came up with Mercedes Renee Haefer. She's now been arrested and faces 15 years jail time. Jail time for rape in Nevada is purportedly only 11 years.
So someone somewhere figured enough was enough and suggested people close their PayPal accounts. And LulzSec and Anonymous are promising a new action against PayPal. And this created the current worldwide movement #opPAYPAL on Twitter.
Some 20,000 - 30,000 PayPal accounts had already been closed before the NASDAQ bell rang. A correlate of the campaign was the encouragement to dump one's PayPal stock at NASDAQ when the exchange opened at 09:30 New York time.
PayPal got wise to the action and closed down their web interface for closing accounts. People in #opPAYPAL responded by tweeting out the toll-free number to call to close accounts.
eBay stock was already down 2.02% after four minutes of trading and finished the day with a $1.3 billion loss.
It wasn't just LulzSec doing the entertaining. 'But I love PayPal!' tweeted Amy Valentine. 'The whole e-commerce system could collapse if PayPal goes down, all because some hackers are unhappy', wept Jack Benson. 'Wow... A girl goes to sleep and wakes up to great beauty', tweeted @prvcyovruld.
WikiLeaks made an early afternoon appearance to cheer the crowd on. 'Boycott the bastards', they tweeted. Support for Mercedes was also tangible.
And a general consensus was reached: it's far better to hurt the 'bastards' in their wallets, legally, where it really hurts. Pundits are now realising today's #opPAYPAL action can turn out to be the biggest and most effective ever.
First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win.
- MK Gandhi
Friends, LulzLizards and enemies around the globe,
The hateful fiends at PayPal have unleashed FBI sea dogs to hunt down some of the more beloved members of our battle fleet. That is why we have decided to raise anchor and leave harbour for one final journey on the seven proxseas. We've set our LulzCannon's sights on the smarmy pirates of PayPal and will take no prisoners. They have not kept their most important booty safe. We find this very troubling, as it is not even their booty! Take this as a warning from your friendly LulzBoat captain. Wise little LulzLizards should withdraw their funds from PayPal before we do.
We're full of piss 'n' vinegar and we're coming for you, PayPal. We gon' find you. We gon' find you. You can run and tell that.
Let it be known the captain has set absolute bearing for victory! Prepare yourselves for raw, uninterrupted anarchy. Didn't you notice all the dollar signs in our logo?
IB Times: Anonymous OpPayPal Costs eBay $1 Billion
CBS News: Anonymous hackers call for PayPal boycott
Ekstra Bladet: Hun får verdens mest magtfulde firmaer til at skælve