It was outright war in the cyberworld this week.
The feds on Thursday announced that they had shut down an incredibly popular website Mequapload, only to see hackers retaliate by blocking access to multiple web sites including the Justice Department and Universal Music.
The Justice Department said that seven people and two corporations had been charged in Alexandria, Va., with running an international organized criminal enterprise allegedly responsible for massive worldwide online piracy of numerous types of copyrighted works, through Megaupload.com and other related sites.
The feds say the piracy generated more than $175 million in criminal proceeds and caused more than half a billion dollars in harm to copyright owners.
Authorities alleged that Megaupload illegally shared movies, television shows and e-books, pornography, prompting hackers to retaliate by blocking access to several Web sites, including those of the Justice Department and Universal Music. In some cases, people saw movies before their release.
“This action is among the largest criminal copyright cases ever brought by the United States and directly targets the misuse of a public content storage and distribution site to commit and facilitate intellectual property crime,” the Justice Department said in its press release.