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Irish domain company hit by political hackers

Supporters of Indonesia’s occupation of East Timor force Web host to pull plugs

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Supporters of the Indonesian government's occupation of East Timor are being blamed for a simultaneous and well-orchestrated attack on Connect - Ireland earlier this week. The politically motivated attacks by 18 hackers on Tuesday brought the Dublin-based company -- one of only two top domain guardians in Ireland -- to its knees causing it take the "nuclear option" and shut down its service. It has now updated its systems but this has caused its entire service to be shut down causing disruption for its 3,000 customers. The company said today that it expects all the Web sites it hosts to be back online either later today or tomorrow morning. It appears the aim of the attack was to disrupt the East Timorese Internet domain which was established twelve months ago by the East Timorese Project and hosted by Connect - Ireland. But when the country received ISO (International Organisation for Standardisation) registration and East Timor's right to its own top level Internet domain (.tp) Connect - Ireland also fell foul of the Indonesian authorities. Over the last year the company has had to fend off a number of attacks and has even received threats to stop hosting the East Timorese domain. Tuesday's ordered and sophisticated attack proved too much for Connect - Ireland and the company was left with little choice but to shut down its operation. "The perpetrators of this attack, fondly referred to as E-Nazi's, have not yet been identified, but the Indonesian government is known to be extremely antagonistic towards this display of virtual sovereignty," said Martin Maguire, project director at the company. "We've traced links back to Japan, Canada and the US but for all we know they could all have been sat in the same room together. "After more digging we're finding links to the Netherlands where I understand there is a large Indonesian population. Maybe the attacks originated from there. " The company has sent a letter of protest to the Indonesian Embassy in London and will be contacting the Department of Foreign Affairs in Ireland next week to see what action it might take. No one at the Indonesian Embassy in London was available for comment. ®

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