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Anonymous blasts El Salvador offline

Ay, caramba!

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The government of El Salvador's websites were taken out on Saturday in what was a weekend of big hacks by the Anonymous collective.

The website of El Salvador's president was taken offline by authorities after it was swamped by 30 million visits in one day. The legislative assembly, the national police force and the ministries of justice and labour were also at the sharp end of a DDoS attack.

Presidential spokesman David Rivas pegged blame for the attacks on Anonymous's Operation Justice El Salvador. The hackivist outfit "tried to attack our website to publicize the private information of internal and external users," said economy minister Hector Dada Hirezi, reports AFP.

The weekend of Guy Fawkes Night saw a flurry of activity from Anonymous worldwide. Threats to Mexican drug cartel Los Zetas were quickly retracted, but Israeli government sites went down. Meanwhile, there was a call to occupy the Iowa caucus office where the first leg of the 2012 US presidential run-off will be held, and the private data of 16,000 Finnish adults was leaked.

It's El Salvador's record on human rights that has attracted the attention of Anonymous, says security biz Sophos, citing Amnesty International's report on the tiny Central American nation. El Salvador's sketchy human rights record includes death threats against journalists, the murder of two environmental activists and unsolved killings from the country's civil war. ®

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