According to The Journal, members of Anonymous Sweden led to believe that these attacks, part of OpIreland, were launched as a protest against the plans to introduce a new SOPA-like legislation.
Of the 19 credential sets leaked, 17 were used by the Department of Foreign Affairs to edit the Irish Aid website, while the other 2 were utilized by the staffers of the company that developed the site.
“We are aware of website user login information being posted online. The website server has been taken offline as a precautionary measure and the matter is being investigated by our IT specialists,” said a Department of Foreign Affairs spokeswoman.
“This is an external service and is separate to the internal Department servers; these have not been affected.”
It seems that Seán Sherlock, the junior minister behind the new law, is one of the main targets, Anonymous revealing that it plans on targeting the Labour Party’s website next, part of which Sherlock is a member.
At press time, the website of the Department of Foreign Affairs in back online, but Irish Aid displays a message that reveals they’re currently “undergoing essential maintenance.”
This is not the first time Anonymous hackers target some of the major websites controlled by the Irish government.
On January 26, we’ve learned that the sites of the Department of Justice and Department of Finance were both taken temporarily offline after DDOS attacks were launched against them.
Even though the SOPA law proposed by the US government was left aside for the time being, in other parts of the world similar laws cause just as much controversy.