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Hackers attack RWE amid Hambach evictions

September 25, 2018

Unknown hackers have launched large-scale DDoS attacks against German energy company RWE, crippling its website. The attack comes as police clear protesters from the Hambach Forest site where RWE plans to mine for coal.

Hambacher Forest Activists
Image: Reuters/W. Rattay

German company RWE filed a police complaint against unknown attackers who had targeted RWE's public website, a company representative said. The firm's webpage was flooded with distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attacks and remained virtually inaccessible by Tuesday morning.

The company said that no other systems had been attacked.

RWE currently faces harsh criticism from environmental groups over its plans to expand coal mining operations by clearing the ancient Hambach Forest.

The scheme has been held up by protesters blocking the site.

Police started clearing away the activists earlier this month, but the widely publicized removals were briefly suspended after a journalist fell to his death. On Monday, the evictions resumed.

The mass-circulation daily Bild linked the attack with a Youtube video using the symbols of the hacker group Anonymous. The German-language clip, posted last week by Anonymous Deutsch, calls on RWE to "keep your hands away from the Hambach Forest."

"If you don't immediately stop the clearing of the Hambach Forest, we will attack your servers and bring down your web pages, causing you economic damage that you will never recover from," says the computer-generated voice in the video.

"Together, we will bring RWE to its knees," it adds, calling the viewers to boycott the company. "This is our first and last warning."

"Hambach Forest Stays!" Germany and the Coal Industry

dj/rt (dpa,AFP)

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