Hacktivists Anonymous hit the websites of automotive manufacturer Nissan with a DDoS attack in an anti-whaling campaign.
As part of a series of attacks in defence of animal welfare, IB Times reported that #OpWhales hit Icelandic institutions and Icelandic Government websites in November in protest at the country's practice of whale hunting. This now includes attacks to protest Japan's plans to continue hunting 333 minke whales per year for 12 years until 2026 as part of a new whaling plan.
Nissan spokesperson Dion Corbett stressed to Bloomberg that Nissan has no stance or any connection whatsoever with whale hunting, and indicated that Nissan had voluntarily taken down the affected websites to prevent further damage to them.
“Because of a potential DDoS attack, we are temporarily suspending service on our websites to prevent further risks. Nissan continuously monitors and takes aggressive steps to ensure the protection of our information systems and all of our data,” said Corbett.
In a statement to Infosecurity, Richard Brown, director EMEA channels and alliances at Arbor Networks, said: “This is yet another example of the impact of carrying out a DDoS attack, and that any organisation is potentially at risk of an attack by Anonymous—or similar group—because of factors outside its control. Nissan is of course a target because it is such a big brand, but no one could have guessed it would be targeted purely for its Japanese heritage.
“We are now in an environment where almost anyone can launch a cyber-attack from anywhere in the world, all they need is a reason to do so. The damage to a brand—both in terms of reputation and loss of revenue through website unavailability—is huge, so defences must be in place. This needs to be coupled with the right processes to get the network up and running again and reduce the impact on consumers.”