After Indian’s Governor Mike Peace signed the controversial “religious freedom bill” as law, the next thing the government knew was that their website (in.gov) got attacked and went offline with a powerful DDoS attack.
The attacker is a group calling itself @YourVikingdomon on Twitter and has been taken down another 34 state, local, tribal and territorial government websites this month. The attack was carried out as a result of a user of the state website telling that a campaign against the law should be run.
The Senate Bill 101, Religious Freedom Restoration Act has been eyed upon negatively by the people at large and has brought businesses, religious clerks and other organizations up against the government.
Here is a screenshot taken at the time when Indiana state website was knocked down:
The gov. site http://t.co/7HSruyJEo0 now appears to be functioning again after an apparent attack by @yourvikingdom pic.twitter.com/bDa7M7H7H6
— Tribune-Star News (@tribstar) March 27, 2015
The bill is being debated as many say that due to this law, many LGBT communities will be denied services by major business on grounds of religion. The bill which is perceived to be something that makes discrimination legal has caused various business people to stand up. Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff, says that no employees or customers will be sent to Indiana.
Salesforce bought ExactTarget for $2.5 billion in 2013, a software marketing company in Indiana. However, due to this bill, Salesforce has cancelled all programs involving the company’s customers and employees going to Indiana.
The attack, however, could have been prevented. It is known that the group finds it amusing to target vulnerabilities in websites and exploit. The group did not carry out the attack for any reason but was done just for entertainment, reports CsoOnline.
Mostly, the websites which the group attacks has no DDoS protection and Indian’s website fell into the category. Still, the attacking group got aware of the protest being done against the religious freedom bill and stormed the website with so much traffic that caused the website to eventually collapse.
However, the bill is just an excuse and the state’s website has long been a target due to the weak protection standards. At 2:00p.m EST, the website went offline and recovered after 45 minutes. The site did not perform well and the Indiana Office of Technology had a look into the problem.
At the time of publishing this article, the Indiana state website was restored, but the hacker’s twitter handle was suspended.