Occupy Wall Street Gets Hacker Support

NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- Anonymous, a group of hackers that have been known to launch denial of service attacks on corporate websites, have threatened to attack the New York Stock Exchange on October 10, according to video message posted on You Tube.

The group said it is launching an attack as a way to protest against the greed on Wall Street, throwing their weight behind "Occupy Wall Street" protesters.

"On Oct.10 the NYSE will be erased from the Internet", the message said. The video encourages people to download the "LOIC tool", that is commonly used in denial of service attacks.

It wasn't clear whether the attack would target NYSE's site or its trading system.

Adding to the confusion, another group of Anonymous hackers have said that the threat was a fake, planted by law enforcement agencies to undermine the Occupy Wall Street protests.

Lenny Zeltser, an information security practitioner, believes the threat is a denial-of-service attack on the organization's Internet-facing systems. "I didn't see any indications that the threat is meant to target trading systems," he said based on the video.

In any case, the success of the campaign depends upon their ability to get enough people to participate and overwhelm the NYSE website. "If they don't generate enough interest, then the denial-of-service condition won't be accomplished," according to Zeltser. "But perhaps the group would still achieve it's goal of bringing awareness to the topic important to them."

--Written by Shanthi Bharatwaj in New York

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