Anonymous Hits Italian Government Site

‘Instrument of the collective consciousness’ Anonymous on Sunday attacked sites belonging to the Italian government in protest against restrictions to media freedom.

According to Italy’s Agenzia Nazionale Stampa Associata (ANSA) news agency, Anonymous had announced its distributed denial of service (DDoS) onslaught earlier in the day, citing the instability of the political and economic situation in Italy as the motivation behind the attacks.

Local police had alerted site administrators prior to the attack, allowing them to take precautions, but reports suggest that the site www.governo.it was still taken down on Sunday afternoon.

The site, however, was up and running again by the evening.

The move follows a series of attacks on sites belonging to the government’s of Tunisia, Egypt and Yemen in support of anti-government protests in the countries.

In a press release detailing its motivation behind the attack, Anonymous accuses the Italian government of making it a “priority to censor the Internet and to turn the judicial system into a tool for corruption”.

Alleging the Italian government’s involvement in prostitution, Anonymous further claims that it uses “dubious links with the Mafia to corrupt and manipulate the free flow of information”.

“A government such as this will never be a government that is supported by the Italian people, nor will it be supported by Anonymous,” the movement claimed.

Anonymous is also reported to be behind yesterday’s hacking of a firm helping the FBI to unmask its members.

Security services outfit HBGary Federal had been helping the FBI to track down Anonymous members and had claimed to have uncovered the personal details of the collective’s leaders, but instead sawan image explaining Anonymous’ actions published on its site and 60,000 messages from its e-mail servers downloaded and posted on The Pirate Bay.