The computer hacking group Anonymous, blamed for a spate of cyber-attacks in China in the past week, says it will continue to target government websites to protest Internet censorship and human rights abuses.
Anonymous-China claims to have hacked into hundreds of government and commercial Chinese sites so far this month, and last week there were numerous reports of defaced websites in the country.
Those sites, many of which appeared to be operational Monday, included the home page for the Chengdu business district. A message on that page read in part: "Dear Chinese government, you are not infallible, today websites are hacked, tomorrow it will be your vile regime that will fall."
Reuters news agency quotes an Anonymous hacker as saying Anonymous-China consists of 10 to 12 people -- most of them based outside China. The hacker said the group has "hundreds" of translators working to hack Chinese sites.
A message recently posted on the defaced website hockeychina.net also warned Beijing that its government is not infallible. That message went on to say: "...We do not forgive. Never. What you are doing today to your great people, tomorrow will be inflicted on you. With no mercy."
China boasts the world's largest online population, with more than one-half billion users. But the government tightly controls the Internet access, using a vast system of censorship that critics call "the great firewall of China."
The United States says the U.S. government has been hit by many high-profile hacking attacks that appear to come from China. Those targets include U.S.-based human rights groups that advocate for Tibetan autonomy, as well as for other ethnic minorities and some U.S. companies.
China has consistently denied involvement in those attacks and claims that it too is a frequent target of cyber vandalism.