Several major German language news websites are offline today, and ‘hacktivist’ collective ‘Anonymous Deutschland’ have claimed responsibility, stating the cyber attack was in revenge for German media being rude about them.
News websites including Focus, Der Spiegel, and Blick Zeitung have been offline since the early hours of this morning, sparking speculation about major server failure or cyber terrorism.
While the Frankfurter Allgemeine reports the outage of the major news companies was down to a power surge at a data centre in North Rhine-Westphalia, damaging critical equipment beyond repair, a ‘hacktivist’ group has said the outage is the result of an attack.
Releasing a statement via the AnonNewsDE Facebook page the leaderless, anarchic hacking collective said the websites had been taken down in revenge for unkind articles posted about them in the German press over the past few days.
When Anonymous declared their intention to fight the Islamic State online, they were met in some quarters with ridicule. Based on a commonly held perception of the hacking group being largely run from the bedrooms of socially awkward teenagers, one popular internet ‘meme’ postulated that Anonymous declaring war on Islamist suicide bombers was perhaps “not the 72 virgins they were expecting”.
German media joining in this ridicule has been cited as the inspiration for the attack. The statement said:
“Parts of the anonymous collective have today with a Ddos Attack taken the website of news magazine Der Spiegel offline… the action by the anonymous collective against the Islamic State terrorist network yesterday was accompanied by a a very critical article by Spiegel online. Apparently some members of the network are upset”.
Other than to confirm they were having technical difficulties and were working to restore service, the half down websites affected have made no comment regarding the claimed hacking attack.
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