The Italian cell of Anonymous hacker group has attacked the official website of the Italian central administration.
Shifting their target from the Italian government website www.governo.it, the hactivists performed a "distributed denial of service" against Italy's civil service on www.italia.gov.it.
DDos assaults are a form of cyber-attack that use large numbers of computers to overload a website with requests, forcing it go offline.
"#OperationItaly TARGET CHANGED, SURPRISE! FOLLOW US! 30minutes to the attack!" tweeted an Anon member before the attack.
An Anonymous Italy statement posted on Pastebin launched #OperationItaly or #OpItaly.
"One year on from the last attack against the government, we are back," reads the statement. "In ancient Greece it was called 'Democracy'. For years we've been told we were living in a democratic state. The invasive powers of media make us slaves and plagiarize our families. The global crisis continues and with it the concerns of the Italian people."
According to Anonymous, the attack is a protest at the Italian state's growing military expenditure.
"In the last couple of years, to deal with the crisis, the different governments have scrapped funds to some Ministers, such as the Ministry of Instruction, while leaving funds to the Ministry of Defense untouched," reads the statement.
The same strategy was used against Turkey's government-owned websites last year. Turkish police arrested 32 suspected Anon during raids across 12 cities.
Last year, Italian police detained 25 suspected member of Anonymous after its online sabotage campaign against governmental websites, such as the Chamber of Deputies and the Senate, and large companies' sites including state-owned oil major ENI.
UPDATED: Anonymous has attacked the official website of the Ministry of Defence: www.difesa.it