Malaysian officials said Wednesday they were bracing for hacker attacks on government websites by a group which sabotaged Turkish sites last week to protest against Internet censorship.
Internet activists Anonymous warned on a website that they would target Malaysia's government portal www.Malaysia.gov.my beginning at 1930 GMT on Wednesday.
"We are aware of the hack threat and we believe that the threat is real. We have alerted the relevant parties and government agencies," said Husin Jazri, head of the government's CyberSecurity Malaysia agency.
The attack plan was posted on a website and spotted by Finnish computer software company F-Secure on Tuesday, which raised the alarm via Twitter.
The hackers explained in a YouTube clip the rationale for the attack, claiming that Malaysia's censorship was eroding human rights.
"We fear that if you make further decisions to take away human freedom, we are obligated to act fast and have no mercy," it said in the video.
The threat follows an order by Malaysia's communications and multimedia industry regulator to Internet service providers last week to block 10 file and video-sharing websites that violated copyright laws, annoying users who regularly download pirated content.
On Tuesday Turkish police arrested 32 people suspected of belonging to Anonymous for attacks on government websites.
The movement rose to fame with a series of attacks on websites linked to the Church of Scientology and gained further prominence after launching retaliatory attacks on companies perceived to be enemies of the whistle-blowing website Wikileaks.
Malaysia's media operate under strict censorship laws but websites have remained relatively free -- despite occasional raids, bans and government criticism -- due to an official pledge not to censor the Internet, made in the mid-90s to attract foreign investment.