The website of a plant research centre north of London was knocked offline on Sunday evening in what appeared to be a protest at its ongoing trial of genetically modified wheat.
Rothamsted Research’s website went offline from about 6pm on Sunday evening, but was brought back online by Monday morning.
The twitter handle @AnonCrash1 was the first to mention the attack, at 5:18pm on Sunday, tweeting “Tango Down www.rothamsted.ac.uk”. Five hours later, @AnonOpsLegion tweeted: “TANGO DOWN these guys are like the MONSANTO of the UK www.rothamsted.ac.uk.”
In a statement made this morning on its website, Rothamsted said: “We have now rebooted our web server. We ask that whoever conducted this malicious attack to please respect our wish to give publicly funded scientific research information to the public.”
The attack came after anti-GM protest group Take the Flour Back staged a demonstration against Rothamsted’s GM wheat trial during the day on Sunday.
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Protesters had been planning a “decontamination” of the trial, destroying the GM research to address fears about the modified genes escaping into the wild, or non-GM wheat. However, the police prevented the protestors from making their way into the test site.