Anonymous, the disparate online collective responsible for the Operation Payback distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attacks on PayPal, Visa and MasterCard, has itself been under a DDoS attack for the past 41 hours.
Researchers at Spanish firm Panda Security reported that the Anonymous server infrastructure has been heavily attacked since the morning of 9 December.
The servers remains down at the time of writing, as the tit-for-tat battle between supporters of WikiLeaks and their opponents continues.
Experts have suggested that the problems Anonymous is having keeping its IRC services online has led to several splinter elements appearing on Twitter purporting to represent Operation Payback, but actually spreading disinformation such as the DDoS attack on Amazon.com that never was.
It is currently unclear who has launched the DDoS attacks on Anonymous, although a hacktivist known as @th3j35t3r has previously attempted to bring the WikiLeaks site down for "endangering the lives of our troops, 'other assets' and foreign relations".
For its part, WikiLeaks has been forced to release a statement denying any affiliation with Anonymous.
"There has been no contact between any WikiLeaks staffer and anyone at Anonymous," the site said. "WikiLeaks has not received any prior notice of any of Anonymous' actions."
WikiLeaks spokesman Kristinn Hrafnsson added: "We neither condemn nor applaud these attacks. We believe they are a reflection of public opinion on the actions of the targets."
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