KUALA LUMPUR, June 16 — Operation Malaysia launched by the international hacker group known as Anonymous has succeeded in not just bringing down the official website of the Malaysian government, but also spawned attacks on at least 27 other websites. These include at least five other government sites such as the webpages of the information ministry, the fire and emergency services department and the land public transport commission. The Malaysian government portal was inaccessible and unresponsive at 9am, June 16, 2011.As of 8.30am, malaysia.gov.my remained inaccessible, while other hackers appear to have taken it upon themselves to target sites like Sabah’s tourism website (sabahtourism.com) and the Tour Malaysia travel guide (tourmalaysia.com.my). On the Sabah Tourism webpage, hackers claimed to have extracted the details of more than 3,400 of the site’s users and posted the particulars of 392 accounts. However, Sabah Tourism has regained control of the site but has since taken it offline. Tour Malaysia remains defaced by a group called Dragon Force. Visitors to the site were greeted by a heavy metal song title “Through The Fire And The Flames” and messages criticising the government’s move to block certain websites. Anonymous had warned earlier this week of an attack on the official website of the Malaysian government in an act of protest against Internet censorship. According to a statement posted on the Pastebin website, the group named the recent move move to block file sharing sites like Pirate Bay and whistleblowers WikiLeaks as “inexcusable” acts of censorship which took away “basic human rights.”
“For rules were meant to be broken. And corruption was meant to be washed away and forgiven. Now we will wash your corruption away so be prepared,” the group said.
The Sabah Tourism site was taken offline by its administrators.The so-called “hacktivists” earlier announced that the attack targeting ww.malaysia.gov.my —known as “Operation Malaysia” — would take place today at 3.30am local time.
Anonymous has taken credit for other attacks such as in December 2010 in response to pressure against WikiLeaks to stop the controversial website from publishing classified United States diplomatic cables. In retaliation, it brought down MasterCard and Visa’s websites and staged attacks on other online commerce sites perceived to be anti-WikiLeaks such as Amazon and PayPal. The planned attack comes despite this week’s arrest of 32 suspects in Turkey after the group also cited censorship for attacks on government sites there.