Hackers claiming to be part of Anonymous defaced the website of Victoria’s Human Rights Commission.
On 2 January, the statutory authority in the Australian state of Victoria announced on Twitter that its website was temporarily down.
Our website is currently down and we're working to fix it. Apologies in the meantime for any inconvenience caused.
— VicEO+HumanRights (@VEOHRC) January 3, 2017
The Guardian reports Victoria’s Human Rights Commission took its website offline to remove a message about AnonPlus, Anonymous’ social network.
The nonsensical message reads in part as follows:
“Every person who has the goodwill to act is welcome. AnonPlus spreads ideas without censorship, creates spaces to spread directly through mass defacement, publish news that the media filtered and managed for the consumption of who controls, we do that to restore dignity to the function of the media: media should be free, without censorship and must limit itself to ‘show what’s happening’ and don’t ‘say to us what’s wrong and what’s right.'”
The message goes on to affirm the international hacking collective’s commitment to “[putting] offline sites that actively contribute to the control of the masses from the corrupt, that by manipulating information and opinions create false realities.”
Such a mission explains why Anonymous went after terrorist websites following the Charlie Hebdo attacks in early 2015. That campaign was specifically designed to “fight always and everywhere the enemies of freedom of expression.”
The note also includes a link to the group’s Twitter page, which someone last updated in December of 2016.
As of this writing, the website of Victoria’s Human Rights Commission remains down.
While the authority continues to work on resolving the issue, a spokesperson for the Commission told Guardian that the attack doesn’t go beyond simple defacement:
“The reason behind today’s activity is unknown. No demands have been made to the commission. We would like to make clear that no privacy breach has occurred as personal data is not held on this site.”
Anonymous has not responded to The Guardian’s request for comment at this time.