A security expert thinks the hacktivist movement Anonymous is planning an imminent cyberattack against the United Nations' International Telecommunication Union.
The attack would come because of what Anonymous characterized as a secret meeting to consider a proposal giving the ITU overreaching powers.
Experts say such a proposal, which was brought forward by Russia at the current World Conference on International Telecommunications in Dubai, which the ITU is hosting this week and next, would be virtually impossible to implement.
Many nations, including the United States, would oppose such a decision. Still, Anonymous said the conference could have "grave consequences."
An incident occurred Wednesday when a small group of hackers sent a denial-of-service attack that briefly took an ITU website offline.
Carl Herberger, vice president of security company Radware, told CSO Online that it may have just been a test run.
"They're planning a very large attack on the 8th," Herberger said. [ The UN's Threat to Internet Freedom ]
Herberger said he'd seen Internet Relay Chats among Anonymous members that suggested an attack was coming Saturday.
But the official IRC chat room for what Anonymous called #OpWCIT bore a banner proclaiming "NO DDoSing FOR THIS OP!" And the various Pastebin documents and YouTube videos connected to #OpWCIT advocated legal means of protest, such as email and social-networking awareness-campaigns.
According to Secretary General of the ITU, Hamadoun Toure, the meeting will cover the way people pay for Internet access and address potential solutions to extend access to the billions who are unable to get online.
Still, many people, and even Google, fear the meeting could lead to renewed efforts toward Internet censorship, something Google is collecting signatures to oppose.