Hacktivist group Anonymous has launched cyberattacks against Japanese government sites in retaliation to the recent introduction of stricter punishments for piracy.
Government sources told The Yomiuri Shimbun in a Thursday report that the Finance Ministry suspended access to part of its Web site after it was illegally accessed on Tuesday, with a document saying "We are Anonymous" and "We do not forgive" inserted onto its site which provides information on nationally owned land lots. This is the first time Japanese government organizations have come under attack, though Japanese companies such as Sony had been targeted by Anonymous, the news site noted.
A regional office at the Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism Ministry also came under cyberattack. The ministry had said that an English message was found on a page displaying rainfall data on the Web site of the Kasumigaura River Office of the Kanto Regional Development Bureau in Itako, Ibaraki Prefecture on Tuesday night, which led to the site's suspension.
The Supreme Court's Web site also suffered disruptions, and the Web sites of the ruling Democratic Party of Japan and major opposition LIberal Democratic Party had been difficult to access, the sources add.
The hacktivist group had earlier declared in a Web statement that it would carry out a "large attack" termed "Operation Japan" on Japanese government organizations in response to the revised Copyright Law on Jun. 20, which had made illegal downloads punishable by up to two years in prison. The revised law would send many innocent people to jail, the group said.
The Cabinet Secretariat's National Information Security Center also warned ministries, agencies and other government entities to be on alert for more cyberattacks, the Japanese news site said.