Anonymous hacking group target Peter Hain website

Anonymous mask Image copyright Reuters
Image caption Anonymous activists wear masks based on a vigilante from the comic V for Vendetta

Former Wales and Northern Ireland Secretary Peter Hain says he is angry that his website has been targeted by computer hacking network Anonymous.

The group has said it is attacking government websites in retaliation for the UK's handling of the case of Wikileaks founder Julian Assange.

But the Neath MP said the move was a form of intimidation.

He said: "It reminds me of attacks I received in the anti-apartheid and anti-fascist struggles."

He added that he had actually supported Mr Assange, who has been granted asylum by Ecuador in a bid to avoid extradition to Sweden, where faces questioning over allegations of sexual assault - which he denies.

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Media captionMr Hain said it was "curious" why his website had been targeted

Mr Hain, who was part of South Africa's anti-apartheid movement in the 1970s, said he felt "angry" at being "singled out" in the hacking, which targeted his website on Saturday morning.

"If the reason [for the attack] is revenge for Assange's treatment, it's weird to attack me," Mr Hain said.

"They have not done their research because I have supported Assange and opposed his extradition."

He said he felt it was a form of "intimidation", adding: "I have had these attacks for 40 years, mostly from racists and fascists."

He took to Twitter to inform his followers of the incident and said: "After targeting of several sites in recent months latest incident is more evidence that UK needs to wake up to growing cyber security threat."

Mr Hain said work was being carried out to restore his website "as soon as possible".

Mr Assange has been at Ecuador's embassy in London since June.

The UK has insisted it is obliged to extradite the 41-year-old and wants a "diplomatic solution", making clear that Mr Assange will be arrested if he leaves the embassy.

Anonymous, a loose collective of computer hackers, has gained notoriety by launching denial-of-service attacks, which flood websites with requests, causing them to operate more slowly or fail, on international government and corporate websites since 2010.

Activists linked to the network wear masks based on a vigilante character from the comic series V for Vendetta who attempts to bring down a fascist British government and its complicit media.

On Monday its hackers attacked UK government websites including the Ministry of Justice and the Home Office.

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