Since Monday, hackers from the infamous imageboard website 4chan.org have been attempting to crash the gossip blog Gawker.com. The feud started when Gawker's Adrien Chen wrote about 4chan users who were harassing an 11-year-old girl. Chen called 4chan "ground zero for Internet mischief" and its users "the Internet's worst trolls." Incensed by the remarks, 4chan users staged a denial-of-service attack in an attempt to shut down Gawker's site by overloading its servers. On Tuesday, the site was working fine to the chagrin of 4chan hackers, who wrote:
Anonymous 07/19/10(Mon)12:13:13 No.254365XXX
Still works for me... fail.[...]
Anonymous 07/19/10(Mon)12:21:28 No.254367XXX
This really should have been planned out better...[...]
Anonymous 07/19/10(Mon)12:31:23 No.254370XXX
This is one of the biggest fails I've seen in years.[...]
Amused with 4chan's failure, Gawker's Ryan Tate wrote:
We're demoting you to 3chan for the rest of the summer. Also for the rest of the summer, we're encouraging everyone to write about 4chan without hesitation. As always, the best response to dumb young guys trying to intimidate their enemies online is to inundate them with targets and refuse to be intimidated.
Today, however, 4chan users mounted another attack and this time it significantly slowed down Gawker, which may have potentially effected the other sites in the Gawker Media group. A.J. Daulerio of the Gawker-owned sports blog Deadspin tweeted:
Ominous emails from Gawker quality control: "It appears that we are under attack again, and are seeing major problems as a result."
How much is it slowing things down? Foster Kamer at the Village Voice's Runnin' Scared blog runs a test:
A speed test clocks Gawker's current loading time at 9.28 seconds with an Average Speed per KB of 28.98 seconds.
By comparison, Runnin' Scared's current loading time stands at 1.09 seconds with an average speed per KB of 0 seconds, which is bested, of course, by 4Chan, which has an average loading time of 1.15 seconds with an average speed per KB of 0.03 seconds
In addition to the denial-of-service attack, 4channers also went after Chen himself. As the screen shot indicates, they're posting his personal information and "spamming his e-mail account." Looks like things are getting out of hand.
Update: It seems this little feud is getting really personal. Gawker's Ryan Tate explains how 4chan hackers are harassing him:
I got some nasty Facebook messages from angry 4chan users calling me various names and showing me the personal information they'd collected about me. Someone else sent my wife a porn video in a message that repeated "WE ARE LEGION" over and over, a slogan of 4chan offshoot Anonymous. Then, later in the day, someone wrote from the Facebook account of a stranger—a woman living in England judging by her friends—to inform my wife we'd been carrying on a torrid three-month affair. We're guessing the account was either hacked or belongs to a friend of the aggrieved 4chan users.
The attackers also spammed email accounts belonging to myself, two higher ups at Gawker Media and Adrian Chen.
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.