Low Orbit Ion Cannon
|Original author(s)||Praetox Technologies|
1.0.8 / 13 Dec 2014
|Operating system||Windows, Linux, OS X, Android, iOS|
Low Orbit Ion Cannon (LOIC) is an open-source network stress testing and denial-of-service attack application, written in C#. LOIC was initially developed by Praetox Technologies, but was later released into the public domain, and now is hosted on several open source platforms.
LOIC performs a DoS attack (or when used by multiple individuals, a DDoS attack) on a target site by flooding the server with TCP or UDP packets with the intention of disrupting the service of a particular host. People have used LOIC to join voluntary botnets.
Security experts quoted by the BBC indicated that well-written firewall rules can filter out most traffic from DDoS attacks by LOIC, thus preventing the attacks from being fully effective. In at least one instance, filtering out all UDP and ICMP traffic blocked a LOIC attack. Because internet service providers provide less bandwidth to each of their customers in order to provide guaranteed service levels for all of their customers at once, firewall rules of this sort are more likely to be effective when implemented at a point upstream of an application server's internet uplink. In other words, it is easy to cause an ISP to drop traffic destined for a customer by sending a greater amount of traffic than is allowed on that customer's link, and any filtration that occurs on the customer side after the traffic traverses that link will not stop the service provider from dropping excess traffic destined for that customer.
LOIC attacks are easily identified in system logs, and the attack can be tracked down to the IP addresses used.
Project Chanology and Operation Payback
LOIC was used by Anonymous (A group that spawned from the /b/ board of 4chan) during Project Chanology to attack websites from the Church of Scientology, once more to (successfully) attack the Recording Industry Association of America's website in October 2010, and it was again used by Anonymous during their Operation Payback in December 2010 to attack the websites of companies and organizations that opposed WikiLeaks.
In retaliation for the shutdown of the file sharing service Megaupload and the arrest of four workers, members of Anonymous launched a DDoS attack upon the websites of Universal Music Group (the company responsible for the lawsuit against Megaupload), the United States Department of Justice, the United States Copyright Office, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the MPAA, Warner Music Group and the RIAA, as well as the HADOPI, all on the afternoon of January 19, 2012, through LOIC. In general, the attack hoped to retaliate against those who Anonymous members believed harmed their digital freedoms.
Origin of name
While downloading and using the LOIC on your own personal servers as a means of stress-testing is perfectly legal, using the program to perform a DDoS attack on someone else could be considered a felony under the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act of 1986. (CFAA) This charge could land someone with up to 20 years of imprisonment, a fine or both. 
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|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Low Orbit Ion Cannon.|
- Original LOIC with professional GUI
- LOIC Special Lowbandwidth Operating Weapon
- An improved version of LOWC forked from GoogleCode
- LOIC IRC-0 IRC controlled version of LOIC-0
- LOIC SLOW Now With IRC and Webpage as C&C
- project development and downloads at SourceForge
- LOIC project development and downloads at GitHub
- Web version of LOIC at Google Code