Conflict & Justice

Anonymous hacking group posts anti-regime statement on Syrian defense ministry website (VIDEO)

The hacking group known as Anonymous is suspected of taking down the Syrian defense ministry's website Monday and replacing it with a protest message against the "brutal regime."

The Anonymous logo -- a headless man in a suit over a UN-style graphic -- embedded on the Syrian flag greeted visitors to the website along with a message condemning President Bashar al-Assad's regime.

It also linked to videos purportedly showing regime violence against civilians in the country, which is embroiled in bloody anti-government unrest, according to CNN.

The message in English and Arabic read:

"To the Syrian people: The world stands with you against the brutal regime of Bashar Al-Assad. Know that time and history are on your side - tyrants use violence because they have nothing else, and the more violent they are, the more fragile they become. We salute your determination to be non-violent in the face of the regime's brutality, and admire your willingness to pursue justice, not mere revenge. All tyrants will fall, and thanks to your bravery Bashar Al-Assad is next.

"To the Syrian military: You are responsible for protecting the Syrian people, and anyone who orders you to kill women, children, and the elderly deserves to be tried for treason. No outside enemy could do as much damage to Syria as Bashar Al-Assad has done. Defend your country - rise up against the regime! -- Anonymous."

The site was offline later Monday morning. In June Anonymous posted a video on YouTube warning that it would soon attack Syrian government websites.

Anonymous has claimed responsibility for several cyber attacks in the past, including Egyptian government websites during the revolution against the Mubarak regime and, most recently, U.S. law enforcement sites.

It claims to have stolen 10 gigabytes worth of data in retaliation for arrests of members and sympathizers in the United States and Britain, the Herald Sun reported.

The Syrian security forces have allegedly killed more than 1,600 people since the uprising began in March, according to independent observers.