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Chinese hacktivists launch cyber attack on Japan

Government sites sink in dispute over islands

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Chinese hackers have taken up cyber arms and followed up widespread anti-Japan protests in the People’s Republic over a set of disputed islands by attacking at least 19 Japanese government and other web sites.

Japan’s National Police Agency (NPA) revealed that 11 of the 19 sites, including those of the Defence Ministry and Internal Affairs and Communications Ministry, appeared to have been hit by Distributed Denial of Service attacks, Kyodo reported.

The remainder, including those of the Supreme Court and the Tokyo Institute of Technology, were defaced with pictures of the Chinese flag.

The web sites of banking, utilities and other private companies were also hit, although most now appear to be back up and running as normal.

Things got even worse for the the Tokyo Institute of Technology, whose site was defaced endured an attack that saw names and telephone numbers of over 1,000 members of staff leaked.

The NPA confirmed to AFP that 300 Japanese web sites were short-listed for attack on a message board of Chinese hacktivist group Honker Union, while around 4,000 individuals had posted messages about planned attacks on Chinese chat site YY Chat.

The dispute over the Diaoyu islands, or Senkaku as they’re known in Japan, intensified last week when the Tokyo decided to buy them from the Japanese family who had owned them for the past 100+ years. The uninhabited islands have only been actively claimed by China and Taiwan until the late 1960s when it was discovered they may house oil deposits.

The protests took a turn for the ugly earlier this week given 18 September marks the day of the Mukden, or Manchurian, Incident of 1931, which led to the Japanese invasion of China. ®

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