UPDATED May 31 at 10:50 a.m. EST: Anonymous succeeded in hacking the F1 website and stealing customers' information. See below for more details of the incident.
The Anonymous hacktivists have threatened an online attack against the Formula 1 Grand Prix race's website to show their solidarity with Montreal's frustrated student demonstrators.
As the Montreal Gazette reported, Anonymous has said it will shut down the Formula 1 (F1) website and sites connected to it, and possibly interfere with servers connected to the race, scheduled for June 8 to 10. The act of solidarity is Anonymous' method of opposing Quebec's controversial Bill 78.
An emergency law passed May 18 by the National Assembly of Quebec, Bill 78 enforces strict regulations against protest, assembly or picketing on or near university grounds without prior police approval. The bill has drawn the ire of Montreal college students who have for months been protesting against proposed tuition hikes.
As with widely publicized anti-government protests around the world, Anonymous is throwing its hat in the ring to oppose what it believes is an unjust law.
"We highly suggest that you join the boycott of the F1 in Montreal, and we certainly recommend that you do not purchase any tickets or merchandise online," the group said. "You have been warned."
Anonymous is familiar with the Grand Prix; its work in Montreal is a continuation of Operation Bahrain (OpBahrain). That offensive, launched last month, saw the hackers carrying out denial-of-service attacks against Formula1.com for the race organizers' decision to hold the event in Bahrain amidst publicized clashes and what it said were human rights abuses levied against demonstrators prior to the event.
OpBahrain did not affect the race, but Anonymous claims it stole personal information, including financial data, that was stored on the F1 website.
In a May 23 press release from Anonymous Operation Quebec (OpQuebec), the hackers chastised the Quebec government for trampling student and protestor rights, and said that until the right to assembly is restored (through the repeal of Bill 78), "we will take down and deface your websites, steal and dump your data, interrupt your official communication channels — and wreck anything else of yours we can find on the Internet." Anonymous has already disrupted 13 Quebec government and police websites this month under the OpQuebec banner.
UPDATE: CBC News reported that Anonymous posted the personal infomation of 131 F1 Grand Prix ticket buyers online. The dumped details include ticket buyers' names, email addresses and phone numbers. No credit card information was posted.
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