The City of Chicago website and the website for the Chicago Police Department crashed on Sunday amid explosive protests related to the ongoing NATO Summit.
Authorities are investigating allegations that the interruptions could be related to a cyberattack.
“We are aware of the potential issue of the City of Chicago website and are working with the appropriate federal authorities to address the situation,” Office Of Emergency Management and Communications spokesman Pete Scales told CBS Chicago.
Several participating protesters who have been actively covering the demonstrations on Twitter suggested that Anonymous, a secret association of hackers known for pressuring political action with online terrorism attacks, was responsible for the malfunctions.
Cyberwarnews.info, reportedly a mouthpiece for the hacker collective, posted a video and transcript with a message for the Chicago Police Department:
We are actively engaged in actions against the Chicago Police Deptartment, [sic] and encourage anyone to take up the cause and use the AntiS3curityOPS Anonymous banner. For those able, chicagopolice.org should be fired upon as much as possible. We are in your harbor Chicago, and you will not forget us.
Protesters and police have been clashing in a series of demonstrations since Friday. Police say 18 activists have already been arrested, not including five men facing terrorism-related charges.