The Anonymous group of online hackers have downed the global website of the giant Japanese carmaker, Nissan, in what they say is a warning shot to the Japanese government for its continued involvement in hunting whales.
The website remained completely inaccessible. When contacted, the company said that its website had been down but emphasized that its operations have got nothing to do with the Japanese government’s stand on hunting whales.
The hackers have said that they will continue attacking websites of Japanese businesses if the Japanese government does not stop killing whales. This is not the first time that Japan is becoming a victim of cyber attacks that are related to its whaling policy.
In the recent past, the website of Shinzo Abe, the country’s prime minister, was successfully targeted by a well-orchestrated cyber attack. The website was brought down and remained inaccessible to the public for hours.
The Japanese whaling problem is not a new issue. It sits in the middle of a global battle against whaling. Concerned with the rate at which governments were killing whales across the world, environmentalists and other pressure groups managed to press for an international agreement that barred the killing of whales.
However, the agreement makes it acceptable for governments to kill whales for purposes of scientific inquiry. What the drafters of this agreement failed to see is that rogue governments would easily exploit the loophole to continue with their butchery of whales. This is exactly what Japan has been doing.
The International Court for Justice, an outfit that seeks solve the most difficult international disputes and prevent countries from going to war against each other, said that what Japan is doing is not associated to scientific inquiry at all. Yet Japan, in a blatant disregard of international conventions, has continued its practice of killing whales.
It is this situation that has put the likes of Nissan in the crosshairs. Although Nissan has nothing to do with whaling, the fact that internet attackers are simply targeting anything Japanese that is valuable makes the company quite vulnerable.
Furthermore, Anonymous, the group that the hackers who attacked the Nissan website claim to be related to, has been known to carry out the most severe cyber attacks in the recent past. The group has been actively attacking websites of governments, business organizations and any other institution that they feel goes against public expectations.
It is interesting to see how Nissan will finally respond to the attack and whether this event will work to help Japanese businesses to lobby their government to change its stance on whaling.