The activist hacking group Anonymous is continuing its efforts to put a stop to whaling practices in Japan, this time targeting the website of Japanese automaker Nissan. Both Nissan.co.jp and Nissan-global.com were taken offline thanks DDos attacks that were conducted by Anonymous.
Anonymous maintains thousands of hackers across the world, and they are known for their largely political hacking campaigns. The group has worked most notably combat the influence of the Islamic State on social media. Recently, Anonymous took down the website of the Trump Towers, expressing their displeasure with outspoken presidential candidate Donald Trump.
The group’s current campaign against Japanese whaling is called #OpSeaWorld, and it was started last month. The campaign is in protest of Japan’s plans to continue hunting 333 minke whales every year through 2026. Japanese officials have stated that the whaling is strictly for scientific research purposes, and the only reason that the whale meat will be sold commercially afterwards is so that it does not go to waste.
A hacker from Anonymous has since taken responsibility for the attack on Nissan. The hacker claimed that he only targeted the Japanese Nissan site and that the company must have taken down the international site on its own. The hacker went on to state that the attack did not threaten their information systems and that no important data was stolen.
Nissan spokesperson Dion Corbett stated that Nissan has no connection whatsoever to Japanese whale hunting. Corbett stated that the company voluntarily took down the affected websites in order to prevent any further damage from hackers.
Corbett said, “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.”
Since launching its anti-whaling campaign in December, Anonymous has targeted several Japanese websites. Most notably, the group took down the official website of Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on December 10th. Later on December 20th, the group took down a total 97 websites concerning Japanese government officials, news organizations, airports and various groups associated with the hunting of marine animals.
In March of 2014, the International Court of Justice in The Hague made the ruling that the Japanese must cease their whale hunting practices. While Japan did initially stop hunting whales, the country later resumed the practice.