Greek Finance Ministry site hacked in tax grab protest

ATHENS, April 24 Tue Apr 24, 2012 6:51am EDT

ATHENS, April 24 (Reuters) - Hackers broke into the servers of Greece's Finance Ministry, police officials said on Tuesday, in protest at government plans to fight tax evasion by tapping into citizens' bank data.

The incident marks the third attack by hackers on Greek government websites since February as anger grows over spending cuts the country has pledged to implement as part of its EU/IMF bailout to avoid bankruptcy.

"To them, you are just economic indicators, deficits and balance sheets - but there are no indicators for misery," said a statement posted on a Finance Ministry website by the hacker group, according to police.

The police said the group was associated with the "Anonymous" activist group responsible for similar hacking attacks in the past.

The hacking was prompted by a government decision last month to fight endemic tax evasion by tapping into households' bank, telephone and credit card data to detect people that spend more money than justified by the income they declare.

The General Accounting Office - a Finance Ministry arm overseeing spending - was checking to gauge the extent of the breach, which at the moment seems minor, a Finance Ministry official said. Three university websites were also attacked, according to a police official.

The incident comes after 1.5 million fake prescriptions were entered on Friday into a new data system of the Health Ministry, a key instrument to contain the country's burgeoning health costs, causing it to crash.

"I don't believe it's just some kid doing pranks," Health Minister Andreas Loverdos said. "It's people who don't want anything to change that are hitting out at us."

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