Gentlemen, start your frantic calls to the IT department. The infamous hacker collective Anonymous has taken down the Formula 1 web page with a coordinated denial of service attack. The hackers have issued a press release saying that their latest hack is intended to highlight the ongoing political unrest in Bahrain, and the current regime's violent crackdown on protestors.
Wait, what do Middle Eastern politics even have to do with Grand Prix racing?
This weekend's Formula One Grand Prix is being held in Bahrain, a small kingdom of islands in the Persian Gulf. The Bahrain Grand Prix was the first Formula 1 race ever held in the Middle East in 2004. Riots have broken out in Bahrain in advance of the race this week, with protestors calling international attention to widespread human rights abuses by the Bahraini government.
The official Formula 1 home page has been down for several hours Friday morning and afternoon. The anonymous hacker collective has sent out a press release taking credit for the politically-charged prank, reprinted in full at Jalopnik.
In their released statement, the hackers say that "Friday - April 20, 2012 the entire global Anonymous will begin to take up the cause of the Bahrain Revolution. The King of Bahrain be warned, we are about to unleash the worst s***storm you have ever seen - and your time as dictator is over."
Say whatever you want about their causes and tactics, these Anonymous hackers write hilarious press releases.
"Beginning tomorrow, and lasting for the duration of this race," the statement continues, "Anonymous will turn your web site (www.formula1.com) into a smoking crater in cyber space. We will also jam your phone lines, bomb your E-Mail inboxes - and wreck anything else of yours we can find on the internet. You can g** d*** well expect us."
They obviously will not be using proofreading or grammar as one of their weapons.
Formula 1 racing is a lot like soccer -- a sport that is enormously popular internationally, but most Americans don't even care how to spell it or say the right word for it. Nonetheless, a global television audience of 500 million is expected to tune in for this Sunday's race.
American F1 fans can see the race only if they have the SPEED Channel and wake up on Sundays at 8 a.m. EDT/5 a.m. PDT. You can also try to follow the results online on Formula 1's smoking crater in cyberspace, if they can get it up and working again.
Anonymous hacks Formula 1 web page with denial of service attack