Unknown hackers broke into the website of the Melbourne International Arts Festival (MIAF) this week, in what appeared to be a similar attack to one perpetrated last week on the Melbourne International Film Festival (MIFF).
Part of the hackers' message (Credit: MIAF)
The film festival hack occurred after the festival was in the news for a documentary it was screening about Uyghur leader Rebiya Kadeer. The Uyghurs, an ethnic minority group in China, complain that they are repressed under the Chinese Government's rule. The festival had reportedly received requests from the Chinese consulate not to screen the film.
A spokesperson for the arts festival said it was uncertain at the moment whether the hackers were the same as those who had infiltrated the film festival website. However, they said in a statement, "this appears likely".
A message which appeared on the arts festival's website after the break-in similarly referred to Kadeer. The spokesperson said the message on the site was from at least 11pm Wednesday night to 9:30am Thursday morning.
"MIAF promptly notified its web provider and the MIAF website has since been restored and is now operational. The developer has reported the incident to the police (as did MIFF) and it is under investigation," they said.
The arts festival said no customer details were compromised during the hacking, as it doesn't take credit card bookings online, instead referring customers to relevant ticket providers.
"If any further hacking occurs, customers can still purchase tickets in person at the Arts Centre or by ringing Ticketmaster or the relevant venue," they said.