Irish Aid website 'hacked'

 

The website of the Government’s overseas development programme, Irish Aid was taken down for a time last night after the email addresses and passwords of staff were posted online.

A link to a website page which contained 18 individual email addresses and passwords was posted on Twitter at around 8.30pm.

The post was later re-tweeted by Anonymous Sweden, which last week claimed responsibility for the attack on two Government websites – those of the Department of Justice and the Department of Finance – which were hacked in protest at online copyright legislation which is due to be signed by Minister of State, Sean Sherlock.

The legislation, which is being sought by major record labels, including EMI, Warner Music, Sony and Universal, has been compared to the Stop Online Piracy Act (Sopa) in the US, however the Minister has said that these comparisons are “not based on fact”, adding that the purpose of the statutory instrument was “simply to provide explicitly” that injunctions may be sought, as obligated by two EU directives.

Almost 80,000 people have joined an online petition first activated on January 26th against the legislation being enacted.

A spokesman for the Department of Foreign Affairs said last night that it was “aware of website user log-in information being posted online. The website server has been taken offline as a precautionary measure and the matter is being investigated. This is an externally hosted service and is separate to the internal departmental servers; these have not been affected.”

After several hours of non-access to the site a note was put up on irishaid.ie which said that the site was undergoing essential maintenance.