Anonymous withdraws Indian hack under pressure

Its online supporters were annoyed that the Indian army website was attacked

The fledgling Indian operation of hacker group Anonymous attacked the website of the Indian army on Friday, but reversed its decision after it ran into criticism from Indian supporters who were annoyed that the Indian army was targeted.

Later on Friday, the hacker group said in a Twitter message that the Indian army site was now working fine. The new consensus appears to be not to target government websites, but only those of corrupt politicians.

The Hacker News reported that the Indian army site was down for only about an hour, according to the hackers. Indian government officials were not immediately available for comment. It is also not clear whether the Indian army or Anonymous put the website in order.

Anonymous has made common cause in India with an anti-corruption movement in the country. It hacked earlier this week the website of the National Informatics Center (NIC), an IT planning and services organization of the Indian government.

On Anonymous' Operation India page on Facebook, it was criticized on Friday by a number of users after it announced that it had hacked the Indian army's site. "I won't support hacking the page of Indian Army. SAD," said one Facebook user. "Why indian army? what do they have to do with this? this is not Pakistan," said another user.

Later on Friday, the Indian operation of Anonymous said on Facebook and Twitter that from now on it would target only corrupt politicians. "Operation India Anonymous Feel that we should not Target any site without getting your opinions," it said on Facebook.

On Twitter, the group said that they were Indians, and "dont want to harm our own property."

Anonymous said earlier in the day that the attack on the Indian army site had not led to any loss of data for the army, but was just meant to send a message to the Indian government about corruption. It also posted videos of its demands on YouTube.

The hacker group also claimed to have attacked the NIC site again on Friday. The part of the website that was hacked earlier in the week is still "under maintenance." Anonymous claims to have collected data from the NIC site, according to The Hacker News. The NIC hosts a number of Indian government sites.

Late Thursday, Anonymous said it had launched a DDoS (distributed denial of service) attack on Turkish government websites in protest against a new Internet filter system that is to be introduced in August. The website of a Turkish telecommunications authority was not accessible.

John Ribeiro covers outsourcing and general technology breaking news from India for The IDG News Service. Follow John on Twitter at @Johnribeiro. John's e-mail address is john_ribeiro@idg.com

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