Anonymous Hackers Target Formula One Over Bahrain Race
The action was taken to protest ongoing human rights abuses in the country.
Members of Anonymous recently took down the official Formula One Web site in advance of this weekend's Grand Prix in Bahrain, and promised additional attacks in the coming days.
"The hacktivists are understood to have hit www.formula1.com with a distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attack, temporarily making it unavailable," writes Digital Spy's Andrew Laughlin.
"The Al Khalifa regime stands to profit heavily off the race and has promised to use live ammunition against protestors in preparation," the group wrote in a statement posted at f1-racers.net. "They have already begun issuing collective punishment to entire villages for protests and have promised further retribution 'to keep order' for the F1 events in Bahrain."
"The statement also called for the release of Abdulhadi Alkhawaja, a prominent local human rights activist who was arrested at his home in April 2011 and sentenced to life in prison two months later on charges of aiding terrorist organizations," writes The Register's Iain Thomson. "Amnesty International has declared him a 'prisoner of conscience' and he is now in the 70th day of a hunger strike."
In a press release posted at AnonPaste, the group promised to continue the attacks for the duration of the race. "Anonymous will turn your web site (www.formula1.com) into a smoking crater in cyber space," the release states. "We will also jam your phone lines, bomb your e-mail inboxes -- and wreck anything else of yours we can find on the Internet."
"Attacks against websites are hardly likely to change the minds of the Grand Prix organisers, but there's no doubt that these actions do make even more people aware of the controversy surrounding the race this weekend," notes Sophos' Graham Cluley.