First hackers shut down the White House and FBI websites – but now they’ve brought down bigger fish – Birmingham City Council.
The council’s £2.8 million website has been offline after falling victim to online attackers.
It has been closed to outside browsers since Monday – meaning those wishing to check council tax details, find out about library opening times or even council meetings have been unable to do so.
According to the city council this is a defensive measure after hackers, operating from outside the UK, attempted to breach the website.
A council spokesman said: “Service Birmingham has identified multiple, sustained and inappropriate attempts to connect with www.birmingham.gov.uk which, if successful, could lead to system failures and a breach of security.
“However, these attempted breaches have been contained by our in-built security systems.
‘‘We apologise for the disruption and the inconvenience this causes. The continued security of the site is our utmost priority and our security team is attempting to solve these issues as quickly as possible.”
The council was unable to confirm when normal service would resume, although occasional access has been possible.
It comes after major American Government websites, including the White House and FBI were shut down in the face of a concerted attack by hackers, known Operation Mega Upload, as part of the global protest at controversial proposals to clampdown on internet piracy.
Hackers affiliated with the loose collective “Anonymous” had at various times also taken down the websites of the Justice Department, the Motion Picture Association of America, the Recording Industry Association of America, the United States Copyright Office, CBS.com, Warner Music and Universal Music in retaliation.