'Anonymous' hackers attack Polish state website

Posted at 01/23/2012 6:21 PM | Updated as of 01/23/2012 6:22 PM

WARSAW, Poland - Hackers identifying themselves as the "Polish Underground" took down the Polish government website early Monday, the most recent in a series of attacks protesting against anti-piracy legislation.

At the weekend, the computer hacker group Anonymous launched attacks on official websites belonging to the Polish president, prime minister and parliament, also in protest against the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA).

Poland has committed itself 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.

On the heels of the attacks, Michal Boni, Poland's digitisation minister, admitted there was "a need for dialogue and consultation here in Poland" on ACTA, already signed by the United States and other non-EU states.

"Hacked by the Polish Underground: Stop ACTA," appeared on the website of Poland's centrist Prime Minister Donald Tusk early Monday.

The 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," a Polish government statement said of the attack 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.