Websites run by the Czech government have suffered from hacking attacks after it unveiled plans to begin blocking illegal online gambling websites.
Last week, the Czech senate voted 42-0 in favour of legislation that will create a new licensed online gaming framework to not only open up the national market to international operators for the first time, but also enable regulators to begin blocking unauthorised sites.
The new legislation also sets out tax rates of 23% of gross gaming revenue for sports betting and lotteries, as well as 35% for casino games, on top of the standard 19% corporate tax rate.
However, just days after the ruling, Czech news website Novinky.cz reported that the Senate’s official website had been forced offline after a distributed denial of service (DDoS) attack from someone who claimed to be part of the ‘Anonymous’ global hacking group.
In a statement issued to Novinky.cz, the hackers said that the attack was carried out as the Senate has “passed a law to prevent free access to the internet”.
The statement also warned that the government could expect further action over the new legislation, with the Czech News Agency also reporting that the attack also affected sites run by the Interior Ministry, as well as its affiliated firefighters’ organisations and the Social Democratic Party (CSSD).
In an effort to allay concerns of the attacks, a CSSD spokesperson said that the effort was “not massive, dangerous or successful”, while the Interior Ministry branded the hacks as “unsuccessful attempts” at public disruption as information systems were not impacted.
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