The Daily Telegraph website has been defaced by what appear to be Romanian hackers angry at the newspaper's claimed portrayal of the country.
The previously unknown but publicity-seeking ‘Romanian National Security' (RNS) claims responsibility for the defacement which affected two sub-domains used by the Telegraph to advertise third-party services.
Under a Romanian flag, reads a Romanian-language statement translated using Google by security company Sunbelt Software to read:
"We are sick and tired of seeing how some "garbage" like you try to mock our country. [And try] to create [for us] a completely different picture compared to the real one, and calling us "romanian gypsies" [,] broadcast s****y tv programs like TopGear." It remonstrates, referring to disparaging remarks about Romania supposedly made on a BBC TV comedy car show unconnected with the Daily Telegraph.
"If you had the nerve to angry an entire country, know that we will not stop here! Romania. Guess What, Gypsies aren't Romanians, morons."
Defacements are now a reasonably common occurrence on high-profile sites, though rarely on pages many people visit. If anything, the actions of the self-styled RNS are as likely to be the work of a prankster as someone with a genuine grievance.
The RNS links to an episode of Top Gear, complaining about its portrayal of Romania, or ‘Borat country' as the presenters call it in characteristically jovial fashion.
Sunbelt says that the newspaper has been informed of the issue. As of 16.30 BST on 16 April, the defacement remained active on the domains but was later corrected the following morning.