Hacktivists deface Australian websites over spying reports

Indonesian hacktivists have defaced Australian websites in response to reports that the Australian embassy was used for spying

Indonesian hacktivists have tweeted a list of more than 100 Australian websites they claim to have hacked in response to reports that the Australian embassy in Jakarta was being used for spying.

The hackers, who claim to have links to the international activist group Anonymous, have defaced dozens of websites belonging to Australian businesses.

The websites, defaced with the message "Stop Spying on Indonesia", are mainly owned by small Australian businesses and seemed to have been chosen at random, according to the Guardian.

Reports of Australia’s role in a surveillance network led by the US National Security Agency (NSA) could damage relations with Indonesia, the paper said.

Indonesia has summoned the Australian ambassador and China has demanded an explanation after the Sydney Morning Herald reported that Australian embassies across Asia were part of the US operation.

A new document from NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden has also revealed that US and Australian intelligence agencies tried to collect the phone numbers of Indonesian security officials during a UN climate change conference in Bali in 2007.

Details of the operation were included in a weekly report from the NSA base at Pine Gap in Australia, which is one of the agency’s biggest bases outside the US.

Australian prime minister Tony Abbott has declined to comment on intelligence activities, but said any activity carried out by Australian officials was within the law.

German, French and Spanish governments have reacted angrily to reports based on NSA files leaked by Snowden since June, which reveal the interception of communications of their citizens.

US intelligence officials say the mass monitoring was carried out by the security agencies in the countries involved and shared with the US.

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