Is Anonymous Going After The New York Stock Exchange?

Conflicting rumors about whether the hacker collective will hit NYSE today

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Video postings last week suggested that 'Anonymous,' or at least some faction of the hacker group, would try to "erase" the New York Stock Exchange from the Internet today, as an expression of solidarity with the protesters of Occupy Wall Street. (Yes, it's Columbus Day, and most banks are closed, but the NYSE is still open.)

But some supporters smelled a rat, and thought the "Invade Wall Street" clamor that bounced around Twitter sounded like a set-up. Maybe it was law enforcement trying to trick the activists into attacking? And would the move undermine political support for the Occupy Wall Street protesters?

The debate burned up on Twitter, with as many posts urging people not to take part in a denial-of-service attack as there were urging participation.

NYSE officials weren't expressing any concern, as the 3:30 p.m. deadline approached.

Anonymous has previously taken credit for hacking attacks on Bank of America, Sony's PlayStation network and other companies. It was unclear whether the online threat intended to interfere with stock trading, or do anything to the homepage of NYSE Euronext, the parent company of the stock exchange.

Ray Pellecchia, a spokesman for NYSE Euronext, said, "We don't comment on security." Separately, a source said the exchange was functioning normally.

On message boards, ostensible participants alternately expressed anticipation at the impending mission, or scorn and disdain for those who thought the attack would go forward, or succeed.

This post will be updated if something changes.

Update, 3:44 p.m.: After a minute of balky behavior, the web page appears to be in normal working order, despite the efforts of the die-hards.

This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.