Hacktivist group Anonymous briefly brought down the website of Formula 1 via a distributed denial of service (DDoS) attack, a computer security firm said Saturday (Manila time).
Sophos said the attack on www.formula1.com came ahead of the highly controversial hosting of the Formula 1 Grand Prix this weekend in Bahrain, where protests are still taking place.
"Under the banner of #OpBahrain, Anonymous hackers also defaced a website associated with Formula 1 racing, and posted a press release," it said.
The message on the defaced site said the people of Bahrain have struggled against the oppressive regime of King Hamad bin Al Khalifa for over a year.
It said people have been "murdered in the streets, run over with vehicles, beaten, tortured, tear gassed, kidnapped by police, had their businesses vandalised by police, and have tear gas thrown in to their homes on a nightly basis."
"Not only is the Human Rights situation in Bahrain tragic, it becomes more drastic with each passing day. For these reasons the F1 Grand Prix in Bahrain should be strongly opposed. The Al Khalifa regime stands to profit heavily off the race and has promised to use live ammunition against protestors in preparation," Sophos quoted the press statement on the defaced site as saying.
It also quoted the hackers as saying the Formula 1 racing authority was "well-aware of the Human Rights situation in Bahrain and still chose to contribute to the regime's oppression of civilians and will be punished."
Sophos noted Anonymous supporters successfully launched DDoS attacks against websites belonging to the British Home Office and 10 Downing Street earlier this month.
But it reminded Internet users that denial-of-service attacks are illegal.
"If you participate in such an attack you could find yourself receiving a lengthy jail sentence," it said. — TJD, GMA News