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DDoS Attack: Website Monitoring Military and CIA Planes through Shannon

category national | anti-war / imperialism | feature author Monday January 12, 2009 13:09author by shannonwatch webmaster Report this post to the editors

Well organised, repeated attempts to shut down ShannonWatch.org

featured image
Screenshot from ShannonWatch.org
attacked repeatedly this week

Shannonwatch.org, a website set up in December 2008 to document US military traffic and rendition flights through Shannon Airport has become the victim of organised international attacks. The attacks which started on January 8th are being repeated, and efforts to keep the website live are currently proving difficult. The website managers are determined that they will not be silenced however, and will continue in one form or another to publish information on military and suspect CIA flights through Shannon.

The attacks on ShannonWatch.org indicate that a concerted effort is under way to stop the dissemination of information about US activities in Shannon. According to the Internet Service Provider (ISP) that hosts the website, the ongoing distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attacks are far more sophisticated and determined than most such attacks. Efforts to make websites unavailable are not unusual, but a spokesperson for the ISP said this was “the second serious one [they have seen] in ten years”. The attacks involve thousands of hits per second, first on the nameserver, then on the server hosting the website, with uploads of hundreds of megabytes designed to bring the entire system down.

After the initial attack on Thursday (Jan 8th), the website was successfully restored. However the attacks were repeated, causing many of the websites hosted by the ISP to become unavailable.

One can only speculate as to exactly why the site is being attacked, and by whom. It may be because it provides a count of planes carrying US troops through Shannon airport on their way to/from an illegal war, or because it documents the number of US military planes landing at Shannon and passing through Irish airspace. Or it may be linked to the fact that the website lists the known CIA-controlled planes that have used Shannon airport since August, along with details of other rendition planes that people should watch out for.

Another possible reason for the attack is that the website identified a recent landing at Shannon that may be connected to the covert transportation of deadly weapons. Shannonwatch.org highlighted the fact that a plane registered to Kalitta Air landed in Shannon on Dec 20th and again on Dec 22nd. Given that this airline company transported laser-guided bombs for the Israeli bombing of Lebanon in 2006 and that it brought these through Prestwick without the appropriate clearance (see http://uk-airport-news.info/prestwick-airport-news-281106.htm), the presence of its aircraft in Ireland merits further investigation.

Shannonwatch.org is maintained by Cosantoiri Siochana, which is a group of human rights and anti-war activists based in the mid-West of Ireland. They are now appealing for assistance towards getting the website up and running again as quickly as possible. Mirrored hosting and/or an ISP that can handle large scale malicious attacks may be required; anyone with suggestions or offers of help is invited to contact shannonwatch[at]gmail.com.

Screenshot from www.shannonwatch.org which was attacked repeatedly this week
Screenshot from www.shannonwatch.org which was attacked repeatedly this week

author by Mark Cpublication date Sun Jan 11, 2009 18:22author address author phone Report this post to the editors

I've just checked the site and it is not loading.

Good luck with it, it's a very worthy project.


author by Dissidentpublication date Sun Jan 11, 2009 21:27author address author phone Report this post to the editors

When this happened to me I set up a server to monitor the attacks myself, maybe you could do the same and see if you can spot anything interesting. Heres what i got when i did it:

OrgName: DINSA, Ministry of Defence OrgID: DMD-16 Address: DINSA, HQ DCSA Address: H4, Copenacre City: Corsham StateProv: Wiltshire PostalCode: SN13 9NR Country: GB NetRange: - CIDR: NetName: RSRE-EXP NetHandle: NET-25-0-0-0-1 Parent: NetType: Direct Assignment NameServer: NS1.CS.UCL.AC.UK NameServer: RELAY.MOD.UK Comment: RegDate: 1985-01-28 Updated: 2005-09-06 OrgTechHandle: HOSTM796-ARIN OrgTechName: Hostmaster OrgTechPhone: +44 (0) 1225 813426 OrgTechEmail: hostmaster@dinsa.mod.uk

OrgName: Department of Social Security of UK OrgID: DSSU Address: Naming and Addressing Authority c/o DITA Address: Government Buildings - GZI Address: Moorland Road Address: Lytham St. Annes, Lancashire FY8 3ZZ City: StateProv: PostalCode: Country: GB NetRange: - CIDR: NetName: ITSANET NetHandle: NET-51-0-0-0-1 Parent: NetType: Direct Assignment Comment: RegDate: 1991-09-16 Updated: 1999-04-13

OrgName: DoD Network Information Center OrgID: DNIC Address: 3990 E. Broad Street City: Columbus StateProv: OH PostalCode: 43218 Country: US NetRange: - CIDR:,, NetName: NETBLK-STDN3 NetHandle: NET-164-202-0-0-1 Parent: NET-164-0-0-0-0 NetType: Direct Allocation Comment: DISA, Joint Interoperability Comment: Director, JITC Comment: Fort Huachuca, AZ 85635-7020 US RegDate: 1993-07-08 Updated: 1999-01-05 RTechHandle: MIL-HSTMST-ARIN RTechName: Network DoD RTechPhone: +1-800-365-3642 RTechEmail: HOSTMASTER@nic.mil OrgTechHandle: MIL-HSTMST-ARIN OrgTechName: Network DoD OrgTechPhone: +1-800-365-3642 OrgTechEmail: HOSTMASTER@nic.mil

Of course that doesn't mean that those organizations were responsible or even involved, but it was interesting to see that they passed by :p

author by .publication date Sun Jan 11, 2009 22:02author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Perhaps not the same kind or intensity, as they have managed to re-direct to another site.


Stop the war has suffered a serious attack on its internet
site, which has been hacked, we assume by supporters of
Israel's attacks on Gaza. Our website is down and our usual
email address not functioning.

We have set up a temporary email address for you to contact
Stop the War: stopwaruk@gmail.com

We expect to restore normal service soon.

author by kh - newsmedianewspublication date Mon Jan 12, 2009 04:13author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Like I said on another item elsewhere, this is now war.

So much for free speech.

This is the activity of fascists.

author by Virtual Epublication date Mon Jan 12, 2009 10:10author address author phone Report this post to the editors

There were massive Cyber attacks launched against Estonia when it joined NATO, and against Georgia during the Russian assault last year. Government servers were brought down as well as banks. (most likely the work of the Kremlin)

The US military also has Electronic Warfare units and plenty of capability (as do the British, Israelis etc).

Obviously you guys are doing some good work that they are worried about what you are publishing.

author by Ciaran Gallagher - Queen's Socialist Societypublication date Mon Jan 12, 2009 15:11author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Website still not working.

author by shannonwatch webmasterpublication date Mon Jan 12, 2009 20:34author address author phone Report this post to the editors

The attack hits on shannonwatch.org are continuing unabated. Nonetheless we are confident of having the site up and running again in the near future.

Thanks to our ISP for their ongoing efforts to get us live again. And thanks to the many people who sent messages of support to us.

We won't be silenced!

author by lulupublication date Mon Jan 12, 2009 23:11author address author phone Report this post to the editors

They'll do whatever people let them get away with - keep on resisting the war & rendition flights! Best wishes to you all.

author by Jim Hackerpublication date Tue Jan 13, 2009 13:16author address author phone Report this post to the editors

The print edition of the Irish Examiner today has a report on a denial of service attack on shannonwatch.org. The attack is described as sophisticated and seems very targetted.

Anyone know more about this, or ways to get around these tactics?

The site - link at foot of Tim's post - is still showing as unfindable.

author by Tim Houriganpublication date Tue Jan 13, 2009 13:46author address author phone Report this post to the editors

We are still trying new ways to get the website back up.
In the meantime, some of us are replicating some of the content on blogs etc.
Not all of the content can be posted in current format across all forums, but we'll be re-formatting stuff.

You can find ShannonWatch Dotorg on Facebook
and shannonwatch on Myspace
as well as a blog format at

And there is also a YouTube channel which we will create video content for.

For users of indymedia, the Shannonwatch.org site will probably be the best resource, but Facebook, Myspace etc, will introduce the campaign to some people who may not have heard of indymedia.ie

Related Link: http://www.shannonwatch.blogspot.com/
author by Coilínpublication date Tue Jan 13, 2009 16:16author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Please see the Irish Examiner p. 4 today for the following article:

Hacking campaign appears to target Shannon flights website
by Noel Baker
An Irish internet service provider has contacted Interpol over a large international hacking campaign apparently targeting a website which monitors US military flights in and out of Shannon.
Yesterday, the manager of Web World, David Geoghegan, confirmed a "very well coordinated" attack had affected a number of websites, including the shannonwatch site, and affected thousands of customers. "This is a coordinated attack and it has been going on for the past five days," said Mr Geoghegan, who said he had no affiliation with the shannonwatch.org site.
"in 10 years of doing (web) hosting this is the second time I have seen this and it is much more effective than the last one."
... adding that it was difficult to pinpoint who was beihind the attacks as they were originating from internet provider (IP) addresses from around the world, including north and south America.
"We have emailed Interpol this afternoon with the IP addreses," he said ...

author by Coilínpublication date Tue Jan 13, 2009 16:20author address author phone Report this post to the editors

And please see this on the Herald.ie website:

Officials deny use of airport by US military
By Senan Hogan
Tuesday January 13 2009

The Government has denied claims by anti-war activists that Shannon Airport is being used to transport US military equipment to aid Israel's offensive.
The Department of Transport said airlines carrying weapons or bombs must seek permission to land in Ireland or over-fly Irish airspace and no such permission has been sought for Israel-bound flights.
However, anti-war activists claim there has been increased activity at Shannon Airport in recent days and added that a new website logging details of US war planes at the hub has been mysteriously shut down.
The Shannonwatch.org site, which only went live last month, was repeatedly attacked by a sophisticated virus which has crippled its server.
Limerick-based anti-war activist John Lannon said: "We know that the US has military contracts with Israel and we have to consider that it could be possible that Shannon is being used to transport military equipment for the war against Gaza."
A spokeswoman for the Department of Transport said: "There have been no recent requests to the Department of Transport in respect of a flight to Israel.''
Please read full text here:

Of course, the people at the Department of Transport must be very naive if they think that "no permission" = "no transit".

As stated above, Kalitta Air landed in Shannon on 20 and again on 22 December. And it has been reported that Kalitta transported laser-guided bombs through Prestwick without the appropriate clearance, for the Israeli bombing of Lebanon in 2006: http://uk-airport-news.info/prestwick-airport-news-281106.htm

So no permission proves nothing!

Would the government please implement a policy that directs customs officials to search Kalitta Air flights and USAF cargo aircraft for undeclared bombs?

author by shannonwatch webmasterpublication date Wed Jan 14, 2009 03:22author address author phone Report this post to the editors

We are pleased to report that www.shannonwatch.org is up and running again. The attacks continue but the website is now hosted on a platform that we hope can deal with them.

We will continue to publish new information on Shannon’s complicity in war and human rights abuse at shannonwatch.org. But as was highlighted in a previous post we will also replicate the important content on myspace, Facebook, http://shannonwatch.blogspot.com/ and other blogs. This will make it virtually impossible to silence us.

Shannonwatch.org is largely about making sense of data gathered on military traffic and possible rendition flights through a quiet, out-of-the-way “civilian” Irish airport. But someone, somewhere, is clearly unhappy about this sense making, and about the pieces of the Shannon war-complicity puzzle being put together. This makes us even more determined to continue our quest for accountability and justice, however. We cannot forget that as the hits reign down on shannonwatch.org, the bombs reign down on the people of Gaza. Shannon may be complicit in that bombing, and if it is, we have a sad, dishonourable mark on our collective Irish conscience. And given the history of ministerial corruption, repeated denials over complicity in rendition, ongoing propaganda about the importance of our special friendship with the US, we have every reason to consider the possibility that it is happening.

Guantanamo Bay, the illegal Iraqi occupation, Afghanistan, the abhorrent bombing and shelling of innocent Palestinian civilians in Gaza … these are all linked to what shannonwatch.org is about. We challenge the notion that militarization and torture are part of the solution to the threats facing the world today. And we will continue to do so.

author by Coilínpublication date Wed Jan 14, 2009 17:03author address author phone Report this post to the editors

America flouted law by flying bombs to Israel through Britain
Last updated at 22:00 07 October 2006

The US Government flouted British and international law to fly bunker-busting bombs through UK airports to bolster Israeli raids on Lebanon.
Washington failed to tell Britain it was flying the weapons in and out of Prestwick in Scotland - potentially putting lives and the airport at risk.
The two Boeing 747s, owned by US freight airline Kalitta Air, landed at Prestwick on July 21 and 23 from San Antonio, Texas. They were refuelled and the crew changed before they flew on to Tel Aviv.
Kalitta Air regularly works for the US Air Mobility Command - part of the US Air Force - to ship munitions for operations around the world.
Documents released under the Freedom of Information Act show that an investigation by the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) revealed that the aircraft missions did not have appropriate clearance.
The Department for Transport document says: "There was no record of any application being received by the CAA for such an exception and consequently the conditions that would have been applied to safeguard persons and property at Prestwick were not in place."

Please read the whole report on the Mail online website here:

So much for the Irish Department of Transport's statement of this week that it has not received any requests in respect of any flight to Israel. No request does not mean no bombs.

author by Coilínpublication date Wed Jan 14, 2009 17:09author address author phone Report this post to the editors

This is not the first time the Irish Department of Transport has denied knowledge of arms traffic to Israel via Shannon. In April 2006, the Irish Independent reported the false denial of transport of three Apache helicopters through the airport, as below:

US moved helicopters to Israel via Shannon
Saturday April 08 2006
Tom McEnaney
Deputy Business Editor

THE United States used Shannon airport to transport Apache attack helicopters for use by Israel.
The helicopters have been used in the past for targeted assassinations of militants.
In February a cargo plane carrying three Boeing Apache helicopters, the type used by both the American and Israeli forces, landed at Shannon, where it stayed overnight before taking off for Israel.
When contacted last month both the Department of Transport, which is responsible for foreign civilian flights, and the Department of Foreign Affairs, which is responsible for foreign military flights, denied any knowledge of the flight.
This week, when presented with the serial numbers of the cargo planes and of the helicopters, they conceded the flights had taken place and said that they have launched an inquiry.

Please read the whole report here:

author by Coilínpublication date Wed Jan 14, 2009 17:15author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Delighted to see that Shannonwatch.org has been up again all day today. Keep up the good work!

By the way:
“Never believe anything until it has been officially denied”
Claud Cockburn

author by Tim Houriganpublication date Wed Jan 14, 2009 17:29author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Peace activists have raised concerns that Ireland may be facilitating
the transport of White Phosphorous through Shannon Airport, following
the landing of an unusual US military cargo plane at Shannon.

"The plane landed at Shannon on January 8th, and stayed for a number
of days. We noticed that it has unusual modifications at the back,
which may be for specialised loading equipment for the cargo bay" said
a spokesman for the group, ShannonWatch.

The plane, a C-130 Hercules is based at Little Rock Air Force base, in
Arkansas, a short distance from the Pine Bluff Arsenal White
Phosphorous facility, which is the only active producer of White
Phosphorous for the US military.

"We are not sure what was on this plane, but without any inspections
by the Gardai, we can not be sure what it is carrying, and given the
horrific injuries to civilians in Fallujah and Gaza caused by this
stuff, we should make sure that it is not passing through here, as its
use is in fact a war crime, and banned by the Geneva Convention, as it
burns through skin right down to the bone, and sets fire to buildings
that it lands on. It cannot be extinguished with water."

The use of White Phosphorous as a weapon is illegal under chemical
weapons conventions.
It has been used in Fallujah in Iraq, and also in Gaza, where,
according to news reports, the batch numbers on the canisters show it
to originate from the Arkansas factory. "The US military had claimed
that White Phosphorous was used in Fallujah just as marker flares and
for smoke screens. The IDF may claim the same thing about Gaza, but in
both cases, human rights organisations found that it had killed or
injured civilians.



Times online has story from two days ago re WP used in Gaza here;s the
link and two excerpts.

The 1980 Geneva treaty says that white phosphorus should not be used
as a weapon of war in civilian areas, but there is no blanket ban on
its use as a smokescreen or for illumination. It produces a thick
white smoke when exposed to oxygen, but can cause severe burns and
melt flesh to the bone if it comes into contact with skin.

The lot number – PB-91J011-002A – visible in a photograph published by
The Times last week indicates that the shells being used by the IDF
were assembled in September 1991 at Pine Bluff arsenal in America,
where all US white phosphorus munitions are reportedly made. The
contractors are Chamberlain Manufacturing [metal parts only], General
Dynamics, and Ordnance and Tactical Systems.

Related Link: http://www.shannonwatch.org
author by Coilínpublication date Thu Jan 15, 2009 12:08author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Hackerangriff auf Shannonwatch-Website

Systematische Hacker-Attacken haben die Shannon-Beobachtungs-Website
(www.shannonwatch.org) lahmgelegt. Inzwischen ist sie jedoch wieder in Betrieb.


Vielen Dank!

author by dontbelievethepropagandapublication date Tue Jan 27, 2009 17:29author address author phone Report this post to the editors


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