An angry President Rafael Correa is accusing the hacking group Anonymous of trying to breach the government’s computer systems in apparent response to Ecuador’s decision to suspend the internet access of Julian Assange. Assange is living the country’s embassy in London under a grant of political asylum.
“Anonymous tried to hack into the systems of the Presidency for having stopped the internet for Assange,” said Correa on Tuesday. “We are taking measures to defend our system to prevent this from happening.”
Correa did not say if the hacks were successful in stealing information.
Last week, Ecuador’s foreign ministry confirmed that it had temporarily restricted Assange’s internet access on the assumption he was assisting Wikileaks in the release of hacked emails from Hillary Clinton’s U.S. presidency campaign. The ministry said that it was national policy not to interfere in foreign elections.
Despite the suspension of internet access, Wikileaks, which Assange founded, has continued to send out emails although there is no evidence that they are affecting the U.S. election.
Founded more than 10 years ago, Anonymous is coalition of international hackers who have assisted Wikileaks on several occasions, and who have engaged in a number of high-profile publicity stunts.