Interpol's website appears to have been the victim of a cyber-attack after the international police agency announced the arrests of 25 suspected members of the hacking activist group Anonymous in Europe and South America.
The website went down briefly on Tuesday as supporters of Anonymous made online claims that it had been targeted following the arrests in Argentina, Chile, Colombia and Spain. It was quickly back up and running but was loading slowly.
Interpol announced that the arrests had been made under the umbrella of Operation Unmask, which it said was launched in mid-February in the wake of a series of coordinated cyber-attacks originating from the four countries against targets including the Colombian defence ministry and presidential websites, a Chilean electricity company and Chile's national library.
It added that the operation was carried out by authorities in the four countries under the aegis of Interpol's Latin American Working Group of Experts on Information Technology (IT) Crime, which facilitates the sharing of intelligence between the states involved.
Around 250 items of IT equipment and mobile phones were also seized during searches of 40 premises across 15 cities, Interpol said. Payment cards and cash had also been seized as part of the investigation into the funding of illegal activities carried out by the suspected hackers, aged 17 to 40.