The secretary of state has said there is no evidence to link any organisation to an attack on the home of an SDLP councillor in County Antrim.
Both Mr O'Connor and his mother were treated for shock
Danny O'Connor fired shots into the air with a legally-held gun when he was confronted by men who poured tar over his mother's car in Larne.
Mr O'Connor's mother has blamed the UDA for intimidating them.
During a Westminster debate on the UDA, NI Secretary Paul Murphy said he condemned the attack.
He said: "But I can assure the house that there is no evidence to suggest that this was the work of any specific organisation and the police, of course, are currently investigating."
A statement from the police in Larne confirmed that they were investigating a "sectarian motive".
He also confirmed that police were investigating a link with a similar attack close by.
Mr O'Connor, a former assembly member, said he feared for his life during the attack.
The incident took place outside his house on Churchill Road at about 0045 GMT on Monday.
The O'Connor family have been attacked a number of times in the past by loyalist paramilitaries.
The gang ran off after the latest attack, but returned to confront Mr O'Connor a short time later.
He then fired four shots into the air from a legally held gun.
No members of the gang, who ran off, were injured.
Both Mr O'Connor and his mother were treated for shock.
Mr O'Connor's mother, Rosaleen, accused the outlawed paramilitary UDA of hounding her family.
Mrs O'Connor is demanding action over attacks
Northern Ireland Secretary Paul Murphy's decision to recognise the UDA's ceasefire came into effect at midnight on Sunday.
The UDA said it committed itself to working towards the end of all paramilitary activity.
However, Mrs O'Connor said: "So much for Paul Murphy and the UDA ceasefire - it wasn't even 45 minutes old when these scum came and attacked my home and my car."
Danny O'Connor said he saw two figures on security cameras at his home and thought it was the police.
"By the time I went out, I realised that it wasn't the police and that I was in a bit of danger," he said.
"There was one fella who looked to be in the act of throwing something - I don't know if it was a stone or a pipe bomb - but at the time when you have to react to something like that everything just seems to happen instantaneously.
"I was really scared, because I thought it might have been a pipe bomb because my late brother had been pipe bombed.
"I fired four quick shots over the top of their heads - they then ran away. I was really afraid for my life, to be honest with you."