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Anonymous runs amock in Israel, Finland, Portugal

Spook sites downed, citizens' data revealed

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Anonymous activists marked the 5 November anniversary of the Gunpowder Treason Plot to get up to all sorts of mischief over the weekend.

The websites of Israel’s Mossad and Shin Bet intelligence services as well as the Israel Defence Force were reportedly offline for a brief period over the weekend following a 4 November threat by Anonymous to take down the sites.

The threats came in response to the detention and deportation of 27 Gaza flotilla activists, who had set sail from Turkey for Gaza with supplies aboard two boats, by the Israeli military on Friday. The ships were boarded after ignoring calls to turn back, according to Israeli media reports. It's unclear whether or not the boats contained medical supplies.

Anonymous posted a video protesting the ongoing blockade of Gaza and describing the boarding as "piracy on the high seas". It threatened cyberattack reprisals, however the Israeli government said a subsequent outage of Israeli military websites was down to a "systematic malfunction", Threatpost reports.

All three websites were otherwise alive and kicking during the weekend.

Meanwhile Portuguese hacktivists defaced five their nation's websites, including that of JSD (the youth division of the ruling Social Democratic Party) and Freeport, a mall built despite environmental concerns. The hacks were reportedly carried out by LulzSec Portugal, a previously unknown branch of the infamous hacker crew that merged with Anonymous earlier this year.

Further north, Anonymous Finland claimed responsibility for the publication of personal details of thousands of Finns from hacked government databases on Friday. The group temporarily published a sample of info on 16,000 people as proof of the hack, which it said was easily accomplished using a basic SQL injection attack. The hack was motivated by an apparent desire to shame the government into improving its security.

For all the cyber-strikes taking place in the names of Anonymous over the past few days, the most famous threatened action – an assault on Facebook – never took place. Senior figures in the hacktivist collective distanced themselves from talk of the Facebook attack weeks ago so the lack of action comes as little surprise. ®

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