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Death camp memorial website hacked

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Liberated prisoners at Mauthausen. Photo: Cpl Donald R. Ornitz, US Army/Wikimedia
10:44 CEST+02:00
The website of the national memorial site at Mauthausen, a former concentration camp, was hacked into on Thursday night and its content replaced with images of child pornography, the Interior Ministry confirmed on Friday.

Federal police have launched an investigation.

The website was taken offline as soon as the hack was discovered and a brief statement explaining what had happened was posted: “Much to our regret we must inform you that the website of the Mauthausen memorial has been hacked with a child pornography context… The Federal Ministry of the Interior condemns the attack on the website of the Mauthausen Memorial and has initiated investigations. We are keen to get the website online as soon as possible.”

Interior Minister Johanna Mikl-Leitner (ÖVP) spoke of a "sick, criminal attack" which she said she found deeply abhorrent.

The cyber attack coincides with celebrations to mark the 70th anniversary of the liberation of the concentration camp, near Linz in northern Austria.

The interior ministry said it was not ruling out the possibility that the site was hacked by someone with a right-wing extremist background.

In recent months Austria has seen a series of cyber attacks from extreme right-wing groups - usually directed at political opponents. Hackers flood the sites with so many requests that the website’s servers crash.

On Sunday the Mauthausen Memorial site will hold a ceremony to remember the victims of the Nazis.

The Mauthausen-Gusen camp in Upper Austria was one of the first massive concentration camp complexes in Nazi Germany, and the last to be liberated by the Allies. The camp carried out extermination through labour and also had a gas chamber that could kill around 120 prisoners at a time.

Some 200,000 prisoners from all over Europe and the Soviet Union passed through. Half of them died - beaten, gassed, starved, shot or worked to death in granite quarries and armaments factories.

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