Nissan’s global website has been subjected to a cyberattack by hackers claiming to be associated with the Anonymous.
The attack is understood to be part of the hacking collective’s campaign to target Japanese companies in protest of the country’s illegal whaling activities.
The car manufacturer’s global websites went down early this morning (13 January) and has yet to go back online following the attack.
Dion Corbett, a spokesman for Nissan, confirmed to Bloomberg that the company’s website was inaccessible to the public and added that Nissan had no connection with whale hunting.
Corbett said: “Because of a potential distributed denial of service attack, we are temporarily suspending service on our websites to prevent further risks”
Nissan is the latest organisation to come under fire from the activists, who last month took down Japanese prime minister Shinzo Abe’s website for the same reason. Other targets who have been hacked include a whale museum and a resort that features dolphins.
A Twitter account from the hackers reported to be part of Anonymous claimed responsibility for the attack in a post using the hashtag #OpKillingBay and saying “stop the killing now.”
— Anonymous (@_RektFaggot_) January 12, 2016
For years Japan’s commercial whaling activities have targeted hundreds of the endangered animals in the Southern Ocean Whale Sanctuary under the guise of ‘scientific research’.
However, in 2014 The International Court of Justice ruled its whaling operations to be a front for the country to hunt and sell whale meat and ordered its scientific whaling permits to be revoked. Japan has continued to hunt whales since then, cutting its quota and unveiling a 12-year program that would result in the slaughter of a total of 3,996 whales, many of which are in Australian waters.
The Australian government announced that it is considering legal action against Japan and has joined 32 nations protesting the hunt in a bid to build an international consensus against Japanese whaling.