April 16, 2010 - 13:12 AMT
PanARMENIAN.Net - Turkish hackers have attacked several Armenian websites ahead of annual commemorative remembrances of the Armenian Genocide.
On April 12th, more than 250 sites were impacted when cyber terrorists attacked a server hosting sites including www.ArmeniaChat.com, www.ArmeniaSearch.com according to the owner of the sites (who wishes to remain anonymous), ANCA Communications Director Elizabeth Chouljian told PanARMENIAN.Net
The attackers also took down www.armenian.com, which is the website for Armenian Directory Yellow pages. Attackers attempted to hack into a second server which hosts www.ArmGate.com but were unsuccessful.
The most recent attack is the latest in a series of incidents believed to be related to the approach of April 24, which marks the commemoration of the Armenian Genocide of 1915 and the deaths of more than 1.5 million Armenians at the hands of the Ottoman Turkish authorities. Last month the Armenia National Olympic Committee’s Web site was hacked and replaced with a Turkish flag and a message denying the Armenian Genocide. Modern Turkish officials have denied that the genocide took place, referring to the deaths as the effects of a “relocation” or deportation. The Turkish government’s position is in contradiction to widely accepted scholarly research and official eyewitness accounts.
The attacks appear to be carried out by a hacker who goes by the Internet handle of “Ghost61” from the Turkish Website Turksec.info. This person is also believed to be involved in a series of attacks on more than 600 Swedish sites since the passage of a resolution recognizing the Armenian Genocide by the Swedish parliament on March 1.
Several other Armenian owned businesses were affected by the server hack, who were the innocent victims of this incident. The sites included social media marketing company iClimber (www.iclimber.com), a beauty salon (www.daniesbeautysalon.com), a flower shop (www.melodyflorist.com), and a garbage bin rental company (www.roscoerolloff.com) .
“Sadly, most cyber-hate-crimes by Turkish entities against Armenian websites are rooted in the environment of prejudice and hatred created by the Turkish Government's international campaign of Armenian Genocide denial," stated ANCA Communications Director Elizabeth Chouldjian. "It's simply an extension of Turkey's Article 301 restrictions on free speech into the internet - placing a cyber "gag rule" on open discussion of this crime against all humanity."
All the websites attacked were offline for a period of two days due to the damage caused by the attack. The hosting company will be looking into enhanced security measures to stop future incidents from occurring.