Lost in translation: Anonymous hacks Japanese government…almost

AFP Photo/Kenzo Tribouillard
Japanese can be a tricky language, even for hackers. The hacktivist collective Anonymous found that out the hard way when one of their attempts to attack a Japanese government website went awry with bizarre results.

­After Japan approved a new law last week threatening jail time for illegal downloading, the hacker group Anonymous released a statement promising retaliatory cyber attacks on Japanese government websites in response to the new measure.

But in a comedic turn of events, Anonymous hacked the wrong site.

Defiantly displayed across the website of the Kasumigaura River Office were the hacktivists signature slogans: “We are Anonymous! We are a legion! We do not forgive! We do not forget! Expect us!”

The only problem? The Kasumiguara River Office is a water management office in the small prefecture of Ibaraki and has nothing to do with the new law.

Apparently, while looking for the Japanese Ministry of Justice, Anonymous found itself full sail down the Kasumiguara River. It is thought that Anonymous confused “Kasumigaura” with “Kasumigaseki”, a region in Tokyo that is home to several government offices, including the ministry of justice.

But instead, a small water resource management website felt the full brunt of Anonymous’ cyber-wrath.


“Expect us…in the water management office.”

Anonymous’ anger at the new Japanese law was on full display earlier this week via their YouTube announcement: “We will come for you, the way you have come us!” they threatened while decrying the surveillance technology necessary to track down and punish offenders.

The mistake was apparently first brought to the group’s attention on Tuesday evening when a user on Anonymous' social networking site asked whether or not Anonymous’ revenge really went as far as the Kasumiguara River.

Anonymous responded via a laconic tweet in Japanese that read "We made a mistake. We're sorry. Japanese is difficult."