Software developed in Britain has been used by Iranian protesters to crash official websites.
According to the Sydney Morning Herald, British web designer Ryan Kelly claimed a software application he developed to refresh websites automatically was used to bombard official sites.
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The software appears on his website, which had an abrupt surgein traffic. It was originally intended to be used to refresh websites with time-sensitive information.
"Page Reboot allows you to continually refresh a website of your choice, which is great for watching the closing minutes of an eBay auction, making sure you don't miss the start of those ticket sales, and anything else you can think of," claims the Pageboot website.
Kelly told the newspaper: "I got lots of e-mails from Iranians saying they were using the application to attack government websites and bring them down."
He took his website down because the huge spike in Internet traffic was exceeding his server limits. But he made it available again after donations helped him cover maintenance costs.
Protesters also used Twitter to send messages to the outside world when the Iranian government blocked websites such as Facebook and YouTube but forgot about Twitter.
Twitter even rescheduled an upgrade because protesters in Iran were reliant on the microblogging website to share information.
Image :Sipa Press/Rex Features