HACKTIVIST GROUP Anonymous has taken down a number of El Salvador's government web sites in its latest round of attacks.
The attacks are part of Operation Justice El Salvador, which was planned over the last two weeks. A number of official web sites were targeted, including several government ministries and the web site of the president, which was taken offline after receiving 30 million hits on Saturday.
Other web sites that were hit included those of the legislative assembly, the national civil police and the ministries of justice and labour.
Anonymous "tried to attack our website to publicize the private information of internal and external users," the ministry of the economy said, according to French news agency AFP.
Like previous attacks by the group, these appear to have been Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attacks, which overload a web site's server by flooding it with illegitimate traffic. This can be automated using a number of free tools that are available online, which Anonymous has used to its advantage.
El Salvador has been strongly criticised in the past by Amnesty International for its human rights record, including the abuse of anti-terrorism laws to detain people and the unlawful killing of people by police death squads, which is likely why the web site of the national civil police was attacked.
Anonymous previously targeted the web sites of other governments, including Algeria, Chile, Colombia, Egypt, Iran, Libya, New Zealand and Syria, claiming to oppose greed and corruption. It has also supported the Occupy Wall Street protests, with some people wearing the iconic Guy Fawkes mask that has become associated with the group. µ
Another fine mesh
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