East Hawaii News

UPDATE: ‘Hacktivist’ Group Hits TMT and State Websites

April 27, 2015, 5:16 PM HST
* Updated April 27, 7:01 PM
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***Update to story made at 6:54 p.m. to include statement released by TMT***

Thirty Meter Telescope community affairs manager Sandra Dawson released the following statement regarding cyber-attacks on the TMT website:

“TMT continues to be the victim of an unscrupulous Denial of Service attack, apparently launched by Anonymous on Sunday, April 26, 2015, which is causing the TMT website server to be periodically unavailable. The incident is being investigated.”

***Original story posted at 5:16 p.m.***

The “hacktivist” group Anonymous has claimed responsibility for two cyber-attacks targeting the State of Hawai‘i’s portal site and Thirty Meter Telescope website.

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The claims were made on the group’s twitter feed on Sunday, April 26, around 9:30 a.m., displaying screenshots of the state and TMT websites being inaccessible.

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A screenshot from Anonymous' twitter feed indicates a cyber-attack on the TMT website.

A screenshot from Anonymous’ twitter feed indicates a cyber-attack on the TMT website.

A screenshot from Anonymous' twitter feed indicates a cyber-attack on the State of Hawaii website.

A screenshot from Anonymous’ twitter feed indicates a cyber-attack on the State of Hawaii website.

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According to Jodi Leong, press secretary for Gov. David Ige, the State of Hawai‘i’s website was attacked on Sunday morning around 9 a.m., disrupting access until about 2 p.m. The site was restored using a back-up server, and was fully functional by 4:40 p.m.

Leong said no data was compromised and no services were at risk as a result of the attack.

TMT officials did not respond to Big Island Now’s inquiry regarding the alleged cyber-attacks by press time.

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The attacks come amid nearly four weeks of active protests against the Thirty Meter Telescope that have spread internationally through social media.

KAHEA, a group representing native Hawaiians and environmentalists, stated that none of the Mauna Kea Hui or Protectors were responsible for the attacks.

In a Facebook status update, the group posted: “Anonymous answers to no one; they act completely on their own.”  The post continued, “This is a sign that the matter is serious. And it is not diminishing, by any means. We pray that aloha will prevail in all, and ask that everyone join in that prayer.

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