Operation Payback was a series of retaliatory cyber attacks by the hacker group
against opponents of Internet copyright infringement. It began in 2010 when several Bollywood companies hired 3rd party Aiplex Software to launch distributed denial-of-service (
) attacks on websites that did not respond to notices asking them to remove copyright-infringing content from their servers.
Anonymous responded by launching Operation Payback, initially attempting to use a DDoS attack to take down Aiplex Software (although they soon discovered that another individual had already done so a few hours before their planned coordinated attack). Further attacks against anti-copyright infringement organizations followed, with targets including: the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA), the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry, the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA), the British Phonographic Industry, and various law firms that prosecuted copyright infringement.