back to article Anonymous crashes Formula One site over Bahrain protests

Hackers claiming to be from Anonymous have taken down the official Formula One website as protests grow over this weekend's controversial Grand Prix in the Kingdom of Bahrain. "The F1 Grand Prix in Bahrain should be strongly opposed. The Al Khalifa regime stands to profit heavily off the race and has promised to use live …


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  1. Bill Neal

    "empower extremists,"

    it seems one man's extremist is another man's legal authority figure

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: "empower extremists,"

      Isn't it included in the definition of extremist that it is beyond the norm. ie to be an extremist you must be a statistical outlier or at least a 95 percentile.. once an entire population or even just a half of it becomes involved the usage of the word extremist is just denial or propaganda.

      This is a big fat propaganda fail for Bahrain's Crown Prince, and more over the entire F1 circus that 'went along' with the Crown Princes perverted opinions.

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Oh dear how sad never mind

    Seems like the evil IT bods run by Ernst Stavro Ecclestone have got the site working again.

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    No suprise

    to see a British copper out there supervising the shootings and beatings.

    1. phear46

      Re: No suprise

      Of of curiosity.... Why ac for this?

  4. Busby

    Utterly insane to go ahead with race now. Irrespective of the political side there is a serious risk this will help kick off something tragic.

    1. This Side Up


      On the contrary! By going ahead the GP has drawn the worlds attention to the political situation in Bahrain. Had it been cancelled there would have been a brief report and everyone would have got on with their lives. The media would have quickly lost interest. As it is the event is hitting the headlines every day.

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Enjoy the Iron Bar Hotel

    If they aren't shot on the spot I hope the hackers enjoy the Iron Bar Hotel for 10+ years. Do they really think this hacking has any positive value other than sending them to prison?

    1. anon9045839452

      Re: Enjoy the Iron Bar Hotel

      Yes. Absolutely.

    2. Robert Heffernan

      Re: Enjoy the Iron Bar Hotel

      Are you f#*@king deluded? 10+ years for hacking the website of some sporting event that has no real function or service beyond entertainment.

      I am sure the victims (and their families) of Rape, Child Molestation, and Murder will be happy to know that while the guilty party in their cases gets a couple of years behind bars, at least the hackers are getting their just deserts.

      My god, get some bloody perspective, they are misguided young people protesting the support for an oppressive reigeem in a way that is meaningful to them, not breaking into old peoples homes, stealing all their money then assaulting them.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Enjoy the Iron Bar Hotel

        I don't know what country you live in, but mine definitely sees hacking as a worse crime than rape, or at least equal to it.

        Need you ask? Austfailia.

    3. h4rm0ny

      Re: Enjoy the Iron Bar Hotel

      "Do they really think this hacking has any positive value other than sending them to prison?"

      Yes - absolutely. We're reading about it, aren't we? It's helping make people aware of the atrocious human rights abuses that go on in Bahrain, isn't it? And making people aware of abuse is a vital step in helping stop the abuse. So with this elementary train of logic, yes, I applaud Anonymous for this. It's what they should be doing. It's what a lot of people should be doing. Have you any idea how women are treated in Bahrain for example? Or how people speaking out against the government there are treated? I really hate to resort to cliches, but you should live in such circumstances for a short time and then you might wonder how neighbouring cultures can sit by and allow people to suffer so much.

      (Incidentally: note to El Reg. reporters: Egypt, Tunisia, Libya. One of these is not like the others. Hint: it's the one where a small Eastern group from Banghazi who had pre-arranged plans with the West, started an "uprising" backed by a massive NATO air-campaign to bomb the shit out of the rest of the country and where they made up for their lack of numbers by importing ground troops from Qatar. Egypt and Tunisia actually were popular uprisings. Even a brief fact-checking on Libya shows it was not).

      1. Turtle_Fan

        @anons, Robert and Harmony

        Don't feed the troll....

        (Just downvote it)

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Enjoy the Iron Bar Hotel

        I lived there for 16 years, was married there, employed some of the first local women who worked for the company for whom I worked, and met many Shia workers. Later on women were employed in quite highly skilled and specialised technical 'IT' type rolls in the company. The limitations on working hours for the female staff were at the time similar to those in practice in the UK and more social than legal. Oh and by the way women could and did drive, run businesses and wear more or less what they felt comfortable wearing.

        It is possible that things have gone backwards since I left a while back but I suspect that the main issues are as they were then, political rather than actual. Certainly the level of freedom enjoyed by most did offend a few less liberal elements at the time, especially from among the Sunni contingent. Several of whom resigned from the company to pursue their religious objectives.

        I really doubt that any of the children from anonymous know anything about the place other than using it as way for their childish acts to find an outlet.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Enjoy the Iron Bar Hotel

          A) Most anons are adults

          B) I personally know several who grew up in Bahrain. (Also: Somalia, Ethiopia, Egypt, Syria, Iran, Saudi Arabia, India, the UAE and Morocco, for the Muslim countries represented in my very real life circle of acquaintances.)

          What's that? The sounds of your prejudices and preconceptions being proven invalid. Again. Asshat.

    4. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      @AC Re: Enjoy the Iron Bar Hotel

      And I hope that authoritarian asshats like you (and with a special, caring hope held out for you personally,) do all of humanity a favour by promptly getting Cholera and shitting yourselves to death. People like you are a blight on the social stability and advancement of mankind. You make me weep for the future of our species.

      People standing up for what they believe in to protest injustice in a nonviolent fashion do not remotely deserve to be treated with the heavy handed fist of authority that you advise. If the people who live and work with you had a shred of human decency, they would drag you (kicking and screaming, if necessary) to the nearest mental facility and have you committed as a sociopath.

      It’s obvious that you have nothing to contribute to society at large excepting the furtherance of hateful, divisive social policies and retrograde approaches to population management, education and guidance.

      TL;DR: Fuck off, fascist.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: @AC Enjoy the Iron Bar Hotel

        Rabid moral outrage. Cool. Made me smile :) Too bad there's no foot stamping icon, huh?

    5. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Enjoy the Iron Bar Hotel

      Regarding your question of, "Do they really think this hacking has any positive value..."

      Well, I wouldn't have known about issues in Bahrain otherwise. Now I'm aware of it, so I'd say, that's a positive value.

    6. Shades

      Re: Enjoy the Iron Bar Hotel

      Guys, guys, guys... don't feed the troll. It's "Morris" who has been lurking under the El Reg bridge ever since SOPA emerged. You'll soon get used to spotting his posts (they're always the same old sh*te - hackers/pirates sent to prison, enjoying the company of "Big Bubba", etc, etc).

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Enjoy the Iron Bar Hotel

        I don't care who it is. He is dragging the entirety of the forums down to his level. It was bad enough before, with the very "loud and proud" contingent of social conservatives, but this guy is just one too many.

        IMHO, the quality of the community has been pissed down the toilet by folks like him. Nothing to offer but hate, fear, bigotry and intolerance. There is no logical discussion, no advancement of science or culture. He represents the worst of the internet – and humanity itself – and is allowed to continue unchallenged.

        Ignoring him won’t help. The fact that he – along with other, fairly authoritarian and bigoted personalities – have been allowed to firmly establish themselves has altered the character of the forums themselves. It is an encouragement for other individuals within the authoritarian lunatic fringe to make a nest here; call this their home.

        I am not so stupid as to believe that this sort of thing “wears off on you,” as homophobes seem to feel that exposure to gay people will “turn their children gay.” Rather, I simply don’t like authoritarian bigots. I am tired of them. I want them all to move to the United States (or Iran,) and then simply disconnect themselves from the rest of the world.

        They can cultivate their xenophobia in peace. I will personally help them build the enormous, wall around their country. (I may then fill it with water, but that’s another issue altogether…)

        The point is, the world has moved on. We have other problems that require our attention, and there just aren’t the resources left to keep trying to fight/enlighten these asshats. Nor should we have to continually have to counter their propaganda and fear mongering. They can (and do) come up with completely batshit insane garbage with no basis in reality and we are forced to counter this in order to prevent it spreading to the less well educated.

        It’s madness. They need to be isolated on their own chunk of the globe where they can practice their beliefs in peace and the entire rest of the world can simply get on with things. Cut off all diplomatic relations. Cease trading with them. Allow them to advance technologically only as fast as their native belief in science allows native development to occur. Blockade them in, and don’t let any out.

        And the place to start is the internet.

        I call for quarantine procedures, pure and simple. But until we are ready to accept this rather drastic and difficult to stomach action, we have no choice but to fight their propaganda head on. To do otherwise is to allow them to control the message.

        We have already been to passive regarding social conservatism. We tried ignoring them. What it got us was entire nations in the thrall of a small % of absolute fucking nutjobs. They have ruined the planetary economy, widened the wealth gap, spent entire continents into debt so deep it may not be repayable, and set our social advancement back 50 years (or more, in some areas.)

        They have created cultures of fear, bigotry, repression, hatred, xenophobia and economic malpractice. All the while, they have successfully managed to blame their failures on progressives. Not because progressives have actually been responsible for any of the shit they caused, but because we passively sat around and allowed ourselves to be used as scapegoats.

        Enough is enough.

        So I won’t back down. I won’t be the scapegoat for yet another lying authoritarian asshole who is trying to change the entire rest of the world so that he benefits at the expense of the overwhelming majority of others. I won’t have more lies and misinformation replace truth derived from actual science.

        If that means fighting the fuckers with emotion and rhetoric, then I will do so. Distasteful as it is. If they can be fought with logic and reason, all the better. But these self-obsessed asshats who demand that everyone else suffer in order to further agendas that benefit them and the very small % of humanity that is “just like them” need to be quarantined. Their views are toxic; their arguments not based in reality.

        Free speech ends where it starts causing harm to others. And I personally believe that there is more than enough evidence to conclude that hate, bigotry and outright lies seeking the imprisonment of (or violence to be done to) others, all qualify as speech which falls into the “harmful propaganda” category. It must be combated, every time. It should be illegal, and it should be met with strict quarantine.

        Even online. Like it or not. You can't fight "batshit crazy" with logic, reason, or "just ignoring them." The entire history of our species proves this.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Enjoy the Iron Bar Hotel @AC 19:11

          Wow, a genuine keyboard hero. Fighting for right long distance and anonymously. Hypocritical of me to do the same, you say? Maybe, but no need to expose myself to frothing maniacs. And please don't think that these forums are driven by logic or the advancement of culture. The vast majority of posts are about ego, pure and simple. - they're trying to show their self-perceived superiority, be it moral, as in your case, or technical or - well, anything. Anyway, sit back and be self-righteous. You have plenty of company.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Enjoy the Iron Bar Hotel @AC 19:11 (if that was aimed at me??)

            Difficult for me to be morally superior, or at least take any "reward" for that from a position of anonymity, and I've also mentioned nothing about any tech. skills I may or may not have. I'll let you speculate over that one all you want, makes no odds to me.

            As for being a "Keyboard hero" sitting back in my archair in my mother's basement, well, again you can make all the assumptions you like I suppose, won't change what I think or what I do either.

            At least I'm doing more than preaching to the choir on a forum, and not taking any action. If you think that what I do has no effect, and therefore isn't worth doing, then how much less is your input into the debate? What amazing thing are you doing to bring attention to these causes? Or are you condoning human rights abuses by your lack of action? No, of course you're not, generalisations like that are only for the deeply stupid, after all.

            You can criticise us when you find a better way of taking action or raising awareness. Until then, I will remain in plenty of active company while you remain aloof and superior in your inaction.

            An. Anon.

            (assuming the post was a reply to me?)

    7. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Enjoy the Iron Bar Hotel

      I realise that this enters the thread rather late but some may find to be interesting reading on the subject ....

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Nice one anons!

    "the ruling family has a significant stake in the McLaren racing team"

    Now it all makes a bit more sense.

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Anonymous vs Ecclestone

    Get your popcorn ready ...

    Sad about the conditions in Bahrain, but I've been hearing about this, directly and indirectly, for nearly two decades from various coworkers from the Middle East.

  8. John A Blackley

    One man's........

    'terrorist' is another's 'freedom fighter' - and vice-versa. I choose to not decide on this one as I judge I don't know about it.

    As far as holding the race is concerned, F1 are contracted to hold the race there and have been given what they feel are credible assurances that they'll be safe.

    Safer than from El Rag's writers, it seems. "where they (members of Team Indai) were caught in a riot and tear gassed". This is the first I've heard that they were 'tear gassed'. Until now I'd been led to believe that their car was close to a fire bombing and, on leaving the car, they may have been able to smell the residue of tear gas.

    If you haven't actually been the target of a tear gas attack I guess it's hard to distinguish between the two - unless you're a hack who gets a bit lazy(ier) on a Friday.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: One man's........

      If Mr X aims a gun at Mr Y but, due to poor aim, his bullet hits me have I been shot or not?

      1. John A Blackley

        Re: One man's........

        If Mr. X aims a gun at Mr. Y but, due to poor aim, his bullet passes so close you can hear it whizzing past your ear, have you been shot or not?

        As you seem unfamiliar with the concept, I'll help you. The answer's "not".

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        "have I been shot or not?"

        no, you have suffered a puncture event spatially and temporally local to the usage of high velocity police equipment. so nothing to worry about really.

    2. Tzael

      Re: One man's........

      You obviously didn't read the BBC News article about the Force India team's exposure to the tear gas deployed by the police. Here, this link will help:

      The reason two of the Force India drivers are going back home is precisely because they were directly exposed to the measures used by Bahraini police. They saw the injustice first-hand.

      Now quit your propaganda nonsense and accept that the majority of F1 fans agree that the race in Bahrain should not go ahead. Your speculation that the Force India team members "may have been able to smell the residue of tear gas" is a gross subjugation of the actual facts - facts readily available from both Force India and a number of news outlets who have interviewed members of the Force India team.

      1. John A Blackley

        Re: One man's........

        I do apologise. In future I will, like you, swallow whole everything I hear and see on the BBC.

      2. John A Blackley

        Re: One man's........

        Oh and while I'm at it, this from Business Day on the 'tear gassing': "During this incident a Molotov cocktail landed in the vicinity of their vehicle. After approximately two minutes, the route was cleared and the vehicle carried on its journey," it said. "There were no casualties, and eyewitness reports from the scene confirmed that their vehicle had not been targeted itself."

        Plus, FYI, none of the Force India 'drivers' are actually drivers and not both of them are Force India employees. One was a pit employee and the other was a contractor.

        Next time you choose to give me advice, I'll treat it with this in mind.

    3. TheRealRoland

      Re: One man's........

      El Rag - Freudian slip?

    4. Esskay

      Re: One man's........

      "Until now I'd been led to believe that their car was close to a fire bombing and, on leaving the car, they may have been able to smell the residue of tear gas."

      I'm pretty sure "residue of tear gas" = tear gas. Perhaps not in the concentrations that the rioters were experiencing it, but it still probably won't be going into the tourism brochures.

      I find it quite ironic that as a team leader, Bernie was more than happy to organise boycotts of GP's, and was the source of quite a lot of dissent in Formula 1 in the late 70's - and now that he's on top he's happy to race regardless of circumstance (as long as the money keeps pouring in).

      It's beginning to look like a situation not dissimilar to the '85 South African GP - I wonder if governments will be willing to put pressure on teams not to compete (Which could potentially put McLaren between a rock and a hard place).

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    this is what england will be like in a couple years

    the shits, i mean rich people, will pin your country down and fuck it in the ass with their lame sports events, and you will be in a military prison suffering much the same fate with a guy named big tony.

    1. Mike Flex

      Re: this is what england will be like in a couple years

      > the shits, i mean rich people, will pin your country down and fuck it in the ass with their lame sports events, ...

      I thought that was scheduled for this summer, rather than a couple of years time.

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Anonymous take down Formula One website

    "Hackers claiming to be from Anonymous have taken down the official Formula One website"

    Using a Microsoft BotNET© no doubt ...

  11. JDX Gold badge

    It's working now

    I thought anon were a bit more effective than that, F1's site is hardly a big one with a gazillion servers.

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    They are not hackers. They are skiddies (script kiddies).

    1. phear46

      Re: Skiddies

      Thanks for explaining that..... No one here would have ever known what that meant......

      </massive overuse of sarcasm>

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Skiddies

        As opposed to stains on civilisations underpants.

  13. DogMan


    I may have missed it, but did anyone notice this is not F1's main site by a long shot? That one is just fine.

  14. Sly

    oh... it's only formula one

    and not one care was given

    1. Heathroi
      Thumb Down

      Re: oh... it's only formula one

      It wouldn't have been a big loss if the race had been cancelled as the track is the most boring on the calender.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: oh... it's only formula one

        They are all quite boring, but I guess that's F1 for you.

  15. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    Putting politics behind us for a second, this race still shouldn't be showed, its the single most boring event on any calendar, id even go as far as saying garden bowls is more entertaining than this race.

    SO, keeping that in mind, the obvious reason this race stays on is pure an simple, money, some sod (or many) are making a mint out of it

  16. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Off they march one-by-one

    I see prison in the very near future of these hackers.

  17. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Puts a new spin on the motor sport term:

    "shoot to the front" (of the protesting crowd)

  18. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Vettel is a twat

    Coming out with a statement like "there's a lot of hype surrounding this" simply shows him up as the rich kid he is.

    Likewise Brundle is totally detached from reality.

    Bad bad mistake F1 and your sponsors will soon let you know about it - some of them are already getting the backlash.

  19. Jim Bob

    Bernie a subversive?

    In an interview, during the Chinese GP weekend, Bernie claimed that having this GP would give the protests vast amounts of international media exposure.

    Today, Al-Jazeera reported that protesters were claiming that F1 being in Bahrain had given them (protesters) access to vast amounts of international media exposure - something that wouldn't have happened without this event.

    Bernie Eccleston - evil genius or unconventional champion of human rights?

    1. Vic

      Re: Bernie a subversive?

      > Bernie Eccleston - evil genius or unconventional champion of human rights?

      Of the two? Evil genius. But I'm not sure about the "genius" bit.


  20. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    No place for politics IMO

    Motorsports should not be the place for politics. If the event is inappropriate or endangers the teams, then cancel it or race elsewhere.

    1. Mad Hacker
      Thumb Down

      Re: No place for politics IMO

      I suppose Green Day shouldn't sing about politics either? In what venue is politics allowed?

  21. Mark 124

    F1 in Bahrain = sports tours to South Africa during apartheid

    "No history of South African Rugby would be complete without mention of apartheid and although some would suggest that there should be a seperation between sport and politics they are inextricably linked." (search for Apartheid, there isn't a contents table - don't blame me I didn't write the page).

    Sport and politics are linked. Grow up and deal with it. That repressive regimes like Bahrain's (and China's) can _still_ gain legitimacy, and profit, from deluded people who are too focussed on winning to see that life is more important is disgusting. In 20 years will Sebastian Vettel be happier with one more race win than making a stand for freedom and equality?

  22. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Get real people

    There has been much hysterical commentary made of F1 going to Bahrain, and we've had someone make a reference to Apartheid in Souh Africa.

    I dont doubt that there are significant abuses of people's freedom ongoing in Bahrain and something should be done to resolve that situation. HOWEVER it is not reasonable or fair to select one sport to pillory for their (I'm sure commercially based) decision to continue with a contracted event.

    Let me ask one question - how many of our politicians and newspapers have highlighted the abused in Baharain over the last few months prior to the decision by the FIA to run the race ? I personally think that the bulk of the rhetoric particularly over the last few days is more about enhancing a public profile and pandering to what they (politicians especially, and newspapers to enhance readership) believe their supporters want to hear.

    There is an argument to say that having the F1 race has highlighted the issues in Baharain and if the politicians really want to do something they now have the opportunity. Call me cynical if you will but I believe that the fuss will die down and the politicians (and newspapers) will find some other topic to harp on about.

  23. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    Yeah, everyone can debate the rights and wrongs of human right abuses all they want. In the meantime, people are suffering under the regime who are in pursuit of personal power and profit.

    In the meantime, we will attack all those who assist them in doing so. Same the world over.


    An Anon.

  24. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    It's a choice

    If they don't like the situation, leave. People do it all the time.

  25. Tom 13

    Anon going after car races?

    Ooh this could get ugly. You know them race car types are also known to like guns and be proficient with them don't you?

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