International Telecommunication Union Hit by Cyber Attack

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Hackers recently disabled an International Telecommunication Union (ITU) Web site during the World Conference on International Telecommunications (WCIT) in Dubai.

"Government regulators from 193 countries are participating in the conference to revise a wide-ranging communications treaty for the first time since 1988 after last negotiations in Melbourne, Australia," Computer Business Review reports. "Delegates participating in the conference were unable to access the information relating to the meeting after the cyberattack. ITU said some performance degradation was experienced for two hours before normal operation was restored."

"Many internauts, including Anonymous hacktivists, have criticized the conference because they fear that the participants might take decisions that would negatively affect the freedom of the Internet," writes Softpedia's Eduard Kovacs. "'There's a meeting between the world's governments in a just a few weeks, and it could very well decide the future of the internet through a binding international treaty,' the hackers had stated just before the conference started."

In a statement, ITU Secretary-General Dr Hamadoun Toure said the attacks contradict the organization's principles of freedom of expression and unfettered access to information. "It is ironic that the very people who claim to be fighting for a free Internet are preventing those around the world trying to follow the event online from getting access," Toure said. "Do they believe in one rule for them, and one for everyone else?"