In response to the recent shutdown of Internet access throughout Syria, Anonymous yesterday announced the launch of Operation Syria.

"We feel this is a desperate move by a dying regime, one that has slaughtered tens of thousands of innocent civilians," Anonymous stated in a press release. "Beginning at 9:00 PM ET USA Anonymous will begin removing from the Internet all web assets belonging to the Assad regime that are NOT hosted in Syria. ... By turning off the Internet in Syria, the butcher Assad has shown that the time has come for Anonymous to remove the last vestiges of his evil government from the Internet. Soon, his people will remove him from this world. Let the final battle for a free Syria begin...."

"The hacker collective has launched distributed denial of service (DDOS) attack against the website of the Syrian Embassy ... in China (syria.org.cn)," writes E Hacking News' Sabari Selvan. "They also hacked and defaced the Syrian Embassy website in Belgium (syrianembassy.be)."

"The hacker collective has ratcheted up its online attacks against Middle East governments in recent weeks," writes CNET News' Steven Musil. "Earlier this month, the group launched a hacking blitz on Israel in retaliation for air strikes on Gaza. The hacking spree also targeted retail and business sites, allegedly resulting in the defacement or shutdown of hundreds of sites. Israel's government said its Web sites logged more than 44 million hacking attempts in just a few days."