Websites Run by Leading Northern Ireland Party Defaced

By on January 14th, 2011 10:56 GMT

A hacktivist has broken into three websites operated by the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP), one of the largest parties in Northern Ireland, and translated their homepages into Irish.

The hacker who took responsibility for the defacements, calls himself Hector O'Hackatdawn and claims to be an Irish language activist.

In addition to www.dup.org.uk, the hacker also posted messages in Irish on peterrobinson.org and jeffreydonaldson.org, the websites of two prominent party members, Northern Ireland’s First Minister, Peter Robinson, and Northern Ireland Assembly member Jeffrey Donaldson.

On Peter Robinson's website, the hacker posted a message which read "Is mise Peadar Robinson agus tugaim tacaiocht don Acht na Gaelige," which is Irish for "I am Peter Robinson and I support an Irish Language Act."

The issue of giving Irish the same official recognition as English in Northern Ireland has long been a controversial subject.

The proposed legislation, dubbed the Irish Language Act, was repeatedly blocked by DUP in the Northern Ireland Assembly.

DUP is the party with most seats in the Northern Ireland Assembly and the fourth-largest party in the United Kingdom's House of Commons.

The organization confirmed the incident on Twitter and where it said that its website was temporarily affected by "malicious activity." It also stressed that the police have been notified.

The incident follows the Sunday defacement of Fine Gael's 2011 campaign website. Fine Gael is the largest political party in Ireland and the attack is being investigated by the Gardai (Irish police) and the FBI, because the website was hosted in the United States.

Website defacements have long been the favorite way for hacktivists to get their message across, although in Fine Gael's case the attackers went even further and leaked the details of 2,000 supporters who registered on the website.

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