* Telecoms authority, social security among websites hit
* Nationalist Turkish hackers retaliate
* Statement denies election authorities' system targeted
* Turks to vote on June 12
(Adds attacks on social security, other sites paragraphs 3-4)
By Daren Butler
ISTANBUL, June 9 Official Turkish websites were
attacked by Internet vigilante group Anonymous on Thursday as
part of a protest against what it says is government Internet
With an election three days away, access to Turkey's
telecoms authority website, identified as a main target in the
protest against a planned new Internet filtering system, was
blocked as planned at 6 p.m. (1500 GMT).
While authorities worked to limit the disruption, other
sites were also blocked including those related to social
security, meteorology and several telecoms-related sites.
One of these was the official site where people can report
inappropriate Internet content.
"We will not stand back in the face of an attack on our
country by this group. We call on the state bodies responsible
for fighting such crimes to act," Yavuz Kocoglu, head of an
association set up to tackle IT crimes, said in a statement.
A nationalist Turkish hacker group said it counter-attacked
the sites of the grass-roots cyber group, which came to
prominence last year with a series of high-profile attacks.
State-run Anatolian news agency quoted cyber security expert
Huzeyfe Onal as saying Anonymous planned to disrupt the
electoral authorities system during Sunday's election. Anonymous
denied this, saying the poll would not be disrupted.
Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan's ruling AK Party is expected
to secure a clear victory and third term in the vote.
In a posting on the anonnews.org website, the Anonymous
group issued a statement entitled "Operation Turkey" pledging to
fight what it said was Internet censorship there.
Tens of thousands protested in Istanbul in May against
Internet censorship and plans for a new filtering system, due to
be introduced on Aug. 22, under which users must sign up for one
of four filters -- domestic, family, children and standard.
The Information and Communication Technologies Authority
says there will be no difference between the standard filter and
the current system, but that the other filters would offer the
option to restrict access for those who wanted it.
Anonymous said the filtering system would make it possible
to keep records of people's Internet activity.
"Though it remains opaque why and how the system will be put
in place, it is clear that the government is taking censorship
to the next level," the statement said.
"We will bring our support to circumvent censorship and
retaliate against organisations imposing censorship."
In response, a group of nationalist Turkish hackers said on
the ayyildiz.org website they had launched a retaliatory strike
against Anonymous sites.
"The issue is not censorship, it is betrayal of the nation,"
the statement said.
Turkey has previously banned access to various websites,
including YouTube for a period of more than two years, under
court orders imposed for infringing decency laws.
In December, Anonymous launched attacks that temporarily
shut down the sites of MasterCard Inc and Visa Inc using simple
software tools available over the Internet.
It attacked them with denial-of-service attacks that
overwhelmed their servers for blocking payments to WikiLeaks.
Last month it denied responsibility for a cyber-attack on
Sony Corp's networks that exposed the personal data of more than
100 million video gamers.
(Additional reporting by Can Sezer, Seda Sezer and Ece
Toksabay, writing by Daren Butler; Editing by Elizabeth Piper
and Jon Loades-Carter)