Australia sites ‘hacked over spying’

A hacking group calling itself Anonymous Indonesia claims to have attacked over 170 Australian sites, following reports of Australian spying.

The sites affected seemed to belong primarily to small businesses.

On Friday, Indonesia summoned Australia’s ambassador amid reports that its Jakarta embassy was used as part of a US-led spying network.

The reports were based on a US National Security Agency document leaked by whistleblower Edward Snowden.

The allegations caused anger in Indonesia, which is a key ally and trading partner of Australia.

The Australian government has declined to comment on the reports, saying it does not comment on intelligence matters.

Indonesian Foreign Minister Marty Natalegawa told reporters on Monday: “Enough is enough”.

“While [the US and Australia] are not able to confirm or deny past activities, at least they should be able, and I’m making a public expectation here, I think they should be able to say henceforth they are not going to do it anymore,” he said.

“In the absence of assurances that such [spying] activities never took place, then of course we must assume that such activities are taking place, and draw our own conclusion in terms of their view of Indonesia as a partner,” he added.

‘Stop spying’

Anonymous Indonesia posted a list on Twitter of more than 100 Australian websites it said it had hacked. Sites affected including a bouncy castle company and a dry cleaner.

Affected websites were replaced with the message: “Stop spying on Indonesia”, and an image of a Guy Fawkes silhouette on the Indonesia and Australian flags.

Members of the online group wear Guy Fawkes masks when demonstrating in public or in online videos.

The spying allegations were originally published by German newspaper Der Spiegel. The newspaper described a signals intelligence programme called Stateroom which intercepted radio, telecommunications and internet traffic using equipment in US, British, Australian and Canadian diplomatic missions.

Diplomatic posts involved included those in Jakarta, Bangkok, Hanoi, Beijing and Kuala Lumpur, amongst others, the Sydney Morning Herald reported late last week.

The reports are the latest in a series of documents leaked by ex-US intelligence contractor Edward Snowden, who has been granted temporary asylum in Russia and is wanted in the US in connection with the unauthorised disclosures.

The US is facing growing anger over reports it spied on its allies abroad.

However, correspondents say that in reality most governments conduct surveillance or espionage operations against other countries whose activities matter to them.