'Anonymous' hackers attack Polish state website

Hackers calling themselves the "Polish Underground" took down the Polish government website Monday, the latest in a series of attacks protesting against anti-piracy legislation. At the weekend, the computer hacker group Anonymous targeted official websites belonging to Poland's president, prime minister and parliament, also to protest against the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA). Poland has committed to signing the planned multi-lateral agreement aimed at creating international standards for intellectual property protection, but had not consulted with the public over the issue. Following the attacks, Michal Boni, Poland's digitisation minister, admitted the need for public consultations on ACTA, but added Monday that Warsaw was nonetheless "ready" to ratify ACTA, already signed by the United States and other non-EU states. "There is nothing in this agreement that would require the amendment of Polish laws," Boni told reporters, stressing that the hack attacks had not caused any serious damage to government websites. The Polish government's website was however still down Monday evening following the early morning attack which saw "Hacked by the Polish Underground: Stop ACTA" appear on it. Hackers also posted a tongue-in-cheek video of a man in a military uniform and dark glasses resembling Poland's communist-era General Jaruzelski announcing his regime's December 1981 martial law crackdown on the freedom-fighting Solidarity trade union. "This morning the content on the www.kprm.gov.pl website was modified. As a result the server was switched off and secured," the government said in a statement early Monday. "The site will be transferred to another server during the course of the day," it said. US authorities have seized more than 350 website domain names since launching an anti-online piracy campaign dubbed "Operation in Our Sites" more than 18 months ago, including a spectacular global swoop on file-sharing site Megaupload.com. But US congressional leaders put strict anti-online piracy legislation on hold following a recent wave of protests led by Google and Wikipedia denouncing the bills as a threat to Internet freedom.