Irish political party website hacked by Anonymous

The website of one of Ireland’s largest political parties, Fine Gael, was hacked last night by Anonymous, the same group behind a number of DDoS attacks on MasterCard, Visa, Paypal and Amazon for failing to support Wikileaks.

The hack resulted in the compromise of the details of 2,000 members of the public who registered their support with the party on its recently relaunched website, ahead of a Spring election. Fine Gael contacted the Data Protection Commissioner and Garda Computer Crime Unit about the data breach.

The number of users affected could be much larger than the 2,000 cited by Fine Gael, however. An Irish journalist working for The Evening Herald claims it has received the details of 4,000 people who signed up to the party’s website.

Details that were obtained in the hack, which took place between 8:00pm and midnight, include email address, IP addresses and mobile phone numbers. Fine Gael said that all users who are affected have been emailed about the breach.

It is largely expected that Fine Gael will win the most seats at the next General Election in March, leading a government coalition with the Labour Party. A recent opinion poll suggested Fine Gael would win 35 percent of the vote, with the current leading party in government, Fianna Fail, dropping to a record low of 14 percent.

It is not clear if the hack was an attempt to hinder pre-election campaigns, but Anonymous left a message on the Fine Gael website, which read:

“Nothing is safe, you put your faith in this political party and they take no measures to protect you.”

The party’s website has been replaced with a place-holder while an investigation is launched.