Ireland taking a ‘whole of Government’ response to Anonymous threat

25 Jan 2012

A response to hacker group Anonymous’ attack on a number of Irish Government websites in light of the controversial statutory instrument dubbed Ireland’s SOPA is being met with a ‘whole of Government response to the threat’.

A statement issued by the Department of Justice’s press office confirmed that Government servers came under attack last night.

“Last night, the Department of Justice and Finance websites experienced a distributed denial of service attack. This is not an attempt to extract information from the website but is instead an attempt to stop access to a service.

“There seems to be no damage done to the website, however, a review is being conducted this morning. The situation continues to be monitored by the Department of Justice and the Department of Communication. Gardai have been contacted on the matter.

“The Government is aware of the potential threat of this type of cyber attack and the Department of Communications is co-ordinating a whole of Government response to this threat,” the Department of Justice said.

The statutory instrument that has aroused Anonymous’ anger is about to be signed in Ireland just a week after major protests around the web stopped SOPA and PIPA in their tracks.

The instrument is aimed at covering a perceived gap in the Irish copyright laws whereby courts will be given powers to grant injunctions against ISPs on the suspicion of illegal downloading activities by their customers.

A petition that emerged earlier this week against the statutory instrument attracted more than 22,000 signatures.

Earlier this week, Anonymous attacked and vandalised government websites in Poland, including that of its prime minister.

John Kennedy is a journalist who served as editor of Silicon Republic for 17 years