|Members of Anonymous|
Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons
Hackers' group Anonymous brought down several Polish government websites over the weekend, including the websites of the Sejm (Poland's lower house of parliament), the Prime Minister's Chancellery, the Ministry of Culture, the Ministry of Justice and the Internal Security Agency. Even the prime minster's daughter's blog was targeted.
The group also hacked into the laptop of Micha³ Boni, Poland’s Minister of Administration and Digitization, reported Dziennik Gazeta Prawna. Both personal and work data was stolen.
Anonymous is protesting against Poland’s plan to sign the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA) on January 26. ACTA, which aims to establish international standards on intellectual property rights enforcement, was signed by the United States, Australia, Canada, Japan, Morocco, New Zealand, Singapore, and South Korea in October 2011.
"Dear Polish government, we will continue to disrupt and interfere with your government official websites until the 26. Do not pass ACTA," the group posted on its Twitter account.
The group strongly opposes legislation aimed at battling internet piracy, including ACTA and Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA), arguing that it amounts to censorship.
"Poland wants to sign the ACTA agreement on January 26 in Tokyo. The agreement will enable the censoring of the Internet … ACTA has been put together in secret by politicians who we did not elect in democratic elections. [These politicians] are merely puppets in the hands of huge corporations," the group said in a statement on YouTube.
According to Dziennik Gazeta Prawna, the Polish government's websites were attacked via a method called Distributed Denial of Service (DDOS), which gives the appearance of increased traffic on a website so that servers become overloaded.
“It is a cumbersome method and hard to protect against,” said Maciej Iwanicki, an engineer from Symantec, a company which specializes in internet security.
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