Official Australian web sites have been attacked by a group campaigning against the government's plan to ban internet pornography.
The affected sites include the main Australian government site, the Australian Parliament House and the Department of Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy.
The sites were inaccessible for nearly an hour before the government managed to restore a normal service, according to reports citing a statement from the attorney-general's office. However, all three sites now appear to be back down.
The reports said that the distributed denial-of-service attacks were launched by a group called Anonymous, which is protesting against the Australian government's plans to filter the internet.
Communications minister Stephen Conroy said in December that he would censor the public's access to sites hosting pictures of child abuse, rape and violent material.
Anonymous has called the battle against the government's censorship plan Operation Titstorm.
"The Australian government will learn that one does not mess with our porn," Anonymous said in a statement to Australian news agencies. "No one messes with our access to perfectly legal (or illegal) content for any reason."
The group is reported to be encouraging supporters to maintain the attack on the government sites.
The news highlights the findings of a new report from network protection firm Prolexic claiming that botnet evolution has reached its next tipping point, as political and activist interests become the principal driving force behind denial-of-service, espionage and other attacks.
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