Hackers who claim to be associated with the group Anonymous took down the global website of Nissan Motor Co., Bloomberg reported. The Japanese automaker's website was not available from early Wednesday morning, local time, and was down at the time of publication.
The group of hackers targeted Nissan as part of their attacks on Japanese organizations to protest the country’s whale hunting, according to Bloomberg. In December, hackers affiliated with Anonymous hacked Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s website for the same reason, and have previously claimed responsibility for taking down websites of other companies and government agencies in the country.
Despite a global moratorium on commercial whaling that took effect in 1986, Japan has continued hunting whales using a loophole in the agreement that allows whaling for scientific research. The International Court of Justice (ICJ) declared that Japan’s whaling program was devoid of any scientific value and ordered it to shut down in March 2014. In December 2015, Japan began a new whaling program with the objective to hunt 3,000 Antarctic minke whales over the next 10 years.
Apart from a barrage of international criticism, Australia has threatened to take legal action against Tokyo in the ICJ again. Japan has said that eating whale meat is a part of its culture.
The International Whaling Commission also made an exemption for subsistence whaling in its 1986 moratorium, and some communities around the world, include nine in Alaska, are permitted to hunt a regulated number of whales on a sustainable basis.
Anonymous is a loosely organized international group of hackers and is identified by a stylized Guy Fawkes mask. The group has become known over the last decade for its internet activism, including attacks on government, corporate and religious websites, as well as those hosting content for the Islamic State group and child pornography. The group also made it to Time magazine’s 100 Most Influential People list in 2012.