The website of The Daily Telegraph fell victim to hackers yesterday in an attack apparently perpetrated by a Romanian individual or group angry at the newspaper’s portrayal of gypsies.

The website of the British right-leaning publication was defaced with a pro-Romanian message from R.N.S: Romanian National Security, displaying anger at how the paper had covered a story about gypsies and the link that the paper made between “gypsies” and “Romanians”.

The message, which appeared on the “Short Breaks” and Wine and Dine sections of the site, included a picture of a Romanian flag, some comments in Romanian and the remark in English at the bottom that “Guess what, gypsies aren’t romanians, morons.” It also links to a Russian site which plays an MP3 called The Lonely Shepherd.

The Romanian text roughly translates as: “We see some of the garbage that tries to mock our country.

“Let us create a completely different picture. This is the real face and calling us “Romanian Gypsies” emulates **** like TopGear [a popular motoring show in the UK]”

“If you had the nerve to angry an entire country, know that we will not stop defending Romania.”

It is not the first time that the Telegraph, which has since closed down the affected site sections, has been targeted by hackers, with a hack in March 2009 exposing the email addresses of registered users on part of its site. That hack also appeared to originate from Romania, suggesting that the site may be a specific target of an individual or group upset at the paper’s editorial stance.

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