The Web site for the UK agricultural institute Rothamsted Research was taken down by a cyber attack on Sunday night.
"The Twitter handle @AnonCrash1 was the first to mention the attack, at 5:18pm on Sunday, tweeting 'Tango Down www.rothamsted.ac.uk,'" Information Age reports. "Five hours later, @AnonOpsLegion tweeted: 'TANGO DOWN these guys are like the MONSANTO of the UK www.rothamsted.ac.uk.'"
"The cyber-strike came after hundreds of protestors went to the agricultural research station in Hertfordshire to try to attack the facility's trial of genetically modified wheat," writes The Register's Brid-Aine Parnell. "A large force of mounted police and foot patrols stopped the activists from ripping up the crop, one of the stated aims posted on the protest's website."
In a press release, Rothamsted Research stated, "We believe this was a distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attack but it is unclear who was responsible. The timing of the attack and the information we have seen on Twitter would suggest this attack relates to an experiment being conducted at Rothamsted Research to test wheat which has been genetically modified to repel greenfly and blackfly pests as a sustainable alternative to spraying pesticides."
"Rothamsted's wheat contains genes that have been synthesised in the laboratory; a gene will produce a pheromone called E-beta-farnesene that is normally emitted by aphids when they are threatened by something," BBC News reports. "When aphids smell it, they fly away. Prof John Pickett, a principal investigator at Rothamsted Research, told BBC News there was 'a very, very remote chance that anything should get out.'"