INTERNET hacking group Anonymous has attacked the Elysée website in protest at the shutting down of file-sharing site Megaupload.
Cyber attacks also targeted websites for the White House, Universal Music, the FBI and Department of Justice. In France the internet watchdog Hadopi was attacked as was Universal Music France and its parent company Vivendi.
The so-called "hacktivists" left messages on the Elysée website's front page saying "Sarko Sarko the people will have your skin", the Anonymous slogan "We are legion!" and, simply, "Megaupload". They were in the URL address field at the top of the page.
The hackers overload the sites' ability to operate by bombarding them with access requests. The majority of the attacked sites were only offline for a short time.
President Sarkozy had been one of the first to praise the closure of Megaupload, which had been denounced for allowing computer users across the world to download illegal versions of films, TV shows and music. He had accused the backers of the site of "making criminal gains".
The hack attacks also come after widescale internet protests - including the voluntary shut-down of the site Wikipedia - against US attempts in Congress to target online piracy. The blackout was designed to galvanise opposition to Sopa and Pipa, two pieces of legislation under consideration in Congress that would make it easier to cut off pirate websites.
Photo: PC Inpact