Technology: GM research institute victim of a cyber attack

Rothamsted Research, an institute conducting GM crop trials, has announced that its website was the victim of a cyber attack on Sunday night. The attack coincided with an anti-GM protest outside of the institute that planned to cleanse it of modified wheat.

The protesters were foiled due to police intervention, however the cyber attack was successful according to the institute. A spokesperson said, “We believe this was a distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attack but it is unclear who was responsible”.

The protest was organised by anti-GM campaign group Take the Flour Back, though they have not claimed responsibility for the cyber attack. Two Twitter accounts claiming to represent the hacking group Anonymous, @AnonOp_UK and @AnonOpsLegion, have claimed responsibility for the attack. It is yet to be seen whether these accounts actually represent Anonymous however.

Rothamsted has taken to Twitter to fight back against the hackers, writing that “cyberbullying will prevent us informing the public” about that attack. They also made a direct plea to the hackers for amnesty, saying, “Whoever conducted this malicious attack, please respect our wish to give public-funded science information to the public”.

Take the Flour Back is worried that the GM wheat could contaminate the surrounding area with alien pollen, with protest organiser Lucy Harrap announcing, “If this wheat goes to commercialisation, there would then be cross-contamination and we would no longer have a choice about GM or non-GM”.

Source: The Information Daily – formerly eGov Monitor

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