'Online activists hack into Syrian government websites'

Hackers from Anonymous, RevoluSec put caricatures of Assad on sites and warn the public of government monitoring, Al Jazeera reports.

By JPOST.COM STAFF, REUTERS
September 26, 2011 12:47
1 minute read.
Syrians protest President Bashar Assad.

anti assad 311. (photo credit: REUTERS/Francois Lenoir )

Online activist groups Anonymous and RevoluSec hacked into the official websites of seven Syrian cities and a number of government departments, Al Jazeera reported on Monday.

The hackers put caricatures of Syrian President Bashar Assad on some of the sites and warned the public of government monitoring. On other sites, they placed an "interactive map of Syria showing data on those killed in the government's crackdown after protests began in March, putting the death toll at 2,316," according to the report.

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A member of RevoluSec told Al Jazeera that, "First and foremost, this operation is about the people of Syria and our full support for them as they fight for freedom from oppression."

The cyber attack comes after an overnight military crackdown on dissent in the central region of Homs, during which Syrian tanks pounded a town on a strategic highway overnight, injuring at least three people.

Homs has become a major flashpoint between troops loyal to Assad and army defectors, backing pro-democracy protesters demanding the president's overthrow.

Three inhabitants of al-Rastan were injured when pro-Assad forces opened fire with heavy machine guns mounted on the tanks surrounding the town, on the main northern highway leading to Turkey, said residents.

Activists have reported a military push into towns and villages north of the city of Homs, 165 km (100 miles) north of Damascus, where increasing numbers of defectors have been organizing and mounting guerrilla raids on loyalist posts.

Faced with expanding street protests demanding an end to 41 years of Assad family rule, the Syrian president has sent troops and tanks into cities and towns across the country.

The military crackdown has killed at least 2,700 people, including 100 children, according to the United Nations.


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