Anonymous has hacked two of Nissan's websites in Japan as part of its protest against Japan's continued killing of dolphins and whales.
The hacking group claimed responsibility Wednesday for taking the two sites down, with one alleged member calling for the country on Twitter to "stop the killing now," according to Fortune. Other accounts backed by Anonymous called the hack "punishment" for Japan's hunting activities involving the two mammals.
The Japanese automaker is the latest target of Anonymous' OpWhales campaign aimed at ending this treatment of dolphins and whales, as the collective did the same to the Japanese president and other government departments' websites in recent weeks, BBC News reported. The activist group previously launched cyber-attacks against Icelandic institutions in November for the same reason, leading to most of the country's government sites being unavailable for about 13 hours.
Nissan has said that it doesn't have an opinion on hunting activities involving whales and dolphins.
One of the hackers explained that Anonymous went after Nissan because it is a big corporation in Japan, adding that "we have targeted big corporations to spread awareness about the killing [of dolphins] in the cove in Taiji because the Japanese news is censoring it."
"As a note for Nissan, we are not out to harm your customer data or system data," the hacker said.
Targeting Anonymous has proved to be challenge for some law-enforcement agencies, since the group works through encrypted channels to assign targets and members are loosely affiliated with one another, Fortune noted.
Nissan's websites in the U.S. and Europe are still online, according to BBC News.
"At Nissan, customer privacy and security is of utmost importance, and we take any potential threat to our information systems seriously," a company spokesman said, adding that the automaker is temporarily suspending service on its websites to reduce further risks.
"Nissan continuously monitors and takes aggressive steps to ensure the protection of our information systems and all of our data," the spokesman said.