DUBLIN - Hackers attacked the websites of Ireland's departments of finance and justice on Wednesday in a protest against government plans to block websites that violate copyright laws.
Officials said both websites were taken offline for a short time in the early hours of Wednesday in a denial of service attack, in which the sites were bombarded with a huge number of requests.
"The government is aware of the potential threat of this type of cyber attack and ... is coordinating a whole of government response to this threat," the Department of Justice said in a statement.
A Twitter user associated with the Anonymous hacker group, @AnonOpsSweden, claimed responsibility for the attack, posting a series of tweets overnight encouraging hackers to attack the two sites.
Junior Minister Sean Sherlock, who is coordinating government plans to allow the blocking of access to illegal websites, told state broadcaster RTE the attack was an "unjustifiable response" to efforts to comply with European Union laws.