Hackers attack controversial shrine's website

PUBLISHED : Friday, 26 December, 2008, 12:00am
UPDATED : Friday, 26 December, 2008, 12:00am

Tokyo's Yasukuni Shrine, which honours Japan's war dead, including some Class A war criminals from the second world war, came under attack from hackers, with its pages altered to show a Chinese national flag, Japanese media reported yesterday.

Chinese and English phrases in boldface reading 'Hacked by Xiaofan, beach, RichMan, s4t4n' and the date, December 24, 2008, were displayed on the front page of the website on Wednesday evening, replacing the original contents.

A Chinese national flag was also temporarily shown at the top of the page, reported the Daily Yomiuri, a leading newspaper in Japan.

The newspaper did not identify the source of the hacking, but said it was an 'illegal attack' and probably from abroad. It also said shrine authorities were investigating the case.

The website remained inaccessible yesterday.

The Yasukuni Shrine has been a source of dispute between Japan and its neighbours, mainly China and South Korea, in recent years. Some Japanese websites have faced cyber attacks, believed to originate from the two countries, since 2001, when the prime minister at the time, Junichiro Koizumi, visited the shrine.