The main website of Thirty Meter Telescope, which is building one of the biggest telescopes in the world in Hawaii, was taken down in an apparent cyber-attack on Sunday. A spokesperson for the organization told the Associated Press (via CBC) that the denial of service (DDoS) attack was “apparently” launched by hacktivist collective Anonymous.
Thirty Meter Telescope site down for two hours
The outage last for about two hours on Sunday, but the folks at Thirty Meter Telescope had it back online and running normally by last night. The organization is building its massive telescope toward the top of Mauna Kea, a dormant volcano on Hawaii’s Big Island.
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A spokesperson for Thirty Meter Telescope said they are investigating the cyber-attack. Operation Green Rights, a blog that has been actively writing against the organization’s project, claimed responsibility for the DDoS attack. The blog claims to be affiliated with Anonymous.
TMT telescope to capture deep space
Hawaiians believe Mauna Kea is sacred ground and so have been protesting Thirty Meter Telescope’s project. Although there are already 13 observatories located on the mountain, the one being built by TMT will stretch across 1.4 acres and stand 180 feet tall, making it the biggest by far. The property on which the telescope is being built will also cover five additional acres.
If work on the mirror telescope is ever finished, it will bring astronomers the clearest and deepest images of space that have ever been captured. The 30-meter diameter main mirror of the telescope is expected to have nine times the light-gathering power of the best telescopes in the world.
Hawaiians protest Thirty Meter Telescope
The project was halted indefinitely last week following the complaints of protestors, marking the third time this month that work was halted, according to Hawaii Magazine. Protestors tried to block construction equipment crews were trying to move up Mauna Kea earlier this month. Police ended up arresting 31 people in connection with the demonstration.
Operation Green Rights posted photos of the organization’s website and the Hawaii state government’s main website saying that both of them had been attacked. The Associated Press reports that there has been no confirmation of the state’s website being attacked, but the allegation is under investigation.