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updated 5/1/2012 4:21:49 PM ET 2012-05-01T20:21:49

Anonymous is ditching its online denial-of-service attacks and instead taking to the streets to protest the controversial CISPA cybersecurity act and its numerous high-profile corporate supporters.

For about a month, the hacktivists have been launching website-flooding denial-of-service attacks against companies including Boeing, USTelecom and TechAmerica; the attacks have come under the Operation Defense (OpDefense) banner, a coordinated campaign against the Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act, a bill that would enable private companies and the government to better share cybersecurity information.

But with the April 26 passage of CISPA  by the House of Representatives, Anonymous is stepping up its game, moving it away from the computer and to the streets.

The hacktivist group today (May 1) began phase two of OpDefense, which calls for a two-month series of boycotts and demonstrations  against AT&T, IBM, Intel, Microsoft, Verizon Wireless, Bank of America, Chase Bank, McGraw-Hill, PepsiCo, Coca-Cola, Target, Walmart and CVS. All of these corporations, along with Lockheed Martin, Facebook, Symantec, Oracle and others, have written letters in support of CISPA.

Anonymous outlined a schedule for when its supporters should protest each company, beginning with May 1-5 demonstrations against AT&T and ending with June 28-30 boycotts of MasterCard, Visa and American Express.

Anonymous made its stance, and its change of approach, heard in a YouTube video  posted April 27.

"We have realized that distributed denial-of-service attacks are not as effective as they used to be one year ago, since websites have upgraded their servers to withstand attacks such as those," Anonymous explained.

"If you care about your freedom of speech, your right to privacy  and your government censoring you, this is your time to act now," the group said.

Anonymous urged protesters to congregate across from each company's headquarters or retail outlet, to reduce the risk of arrest.

© 2012 SecurityNewsDaily. All rights reserved

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