51 Malaysian government websites were hacked into overnight but no personal or financial data was compromised, government officials said on Thursday, as the nation became the latest target of a cyber-war waged by online activists.
In the attacks, 91 websites were hit including 51 government websites, the industry regulator, the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission, said on Thursday.
Access to 76 of the 91 websites attacked since shortly before midnight on Wednesday had been recovered, it said.
The attacks followed a warning by Internet vigilante group Anonymous, which said it would attack the government’s official portal to punish it for censoring WikiLeaks, the website that aims to expose governments and corporations by leaking secret documents.
It was not immediately clear if the attacks were launched by Anonymous or other hackers.
Anonymous is a grouping of global activists lobbying for Internet freedom who frequently try to shut down the websites of businesses and other organisations that they oppose.
In an earlier Internet posting, Anonymous said Malaysia’s censorship of films and television shows and its blocking of file-sharing websites amounted to a denial of human rights.
The communication commission last week banned 10 file-sharing sites and ordered Internet service providers such as Telekom Malaysia and Maxis to block access.
The restrictions have outraged ordinary Malaysians, and several people took to Twitter to express support for the cyber-attacks.
“Now to count how many sites have gotten whacked so far,” said a tweet posted by Rhyden. “I knew the government’s IT defense team was pathetic.”