Hacktivist group Anonymous has turned its sights on China, reportedly defacing hundreds of Chinese websites, including a handful of local Chinese government websites over the past few days.
"Dear Chinese Government, you are not infallible, today websites are hacked, tomorrow it will be your vile regime that will fall," the message read in English. "So expect us because we do not forgive, never. What you are doing today to your Great People, tomorrow will be inflicted to you. With no mercy. Nothing will stop us, nor your anger nor your weapons. You do not scare us, because you cannot afraid an idea."
Anonymous also had a message for the Chinese people:
"Each of you suffers from the tyranny of that regime which knows nothing about you. We are with you. With you here and now. But also tomorrow and the coming days so promising for your freedom. We will never give up. Don't loose [sic] hope, the revolution begins in the heart. The silence of all other countries highlights the lack of democracy and justice in China. It's unbearable. We must all fight for your freedom."
According to the Journal, Anonymous also included a link to a page of tips on how the Chinese people could get around the "Great Firewall" of China, though the link now appears to be broken (it was reportedly hosted on the hacked sites' servers, so this makes sense).
Anonymous announced the hacks on March 30 on its Twitter feed, @AnonymousChina. The hacktivist group also listed hundreds of websites it had reportedly hacked in a Pastebin post. Several of the hacked websites belonged to local Chinese government organizations, including lower-level government agencies in Taizhou, Zhongshan, and Jiazhou.
According to the International Business Times, this sudden turn on China comes just after China's state media announced an "extensive crackdown on dozens of websites, penalizing two popular social media sites and detaining six people for spreading rumors of a coup d'état." The government reportedly started its crackdown campaign on Saturday, closing 16 websites and shutting off the comment function for two microblog sites.