Computer crackers launched an attack on Scotland and Saint Andrew Thursday, defacing prominent historical Web sites with anti-Scottish insults.
Timed to coincide with the day dedicated to Scotland's patron saint, the attacks were designed to cause maximum embarrassment to the sites targeted.
The seven sites targeted include the historical and cultural destinations www.dunbar-scotland.com and www.edinburgh-tattoo.co.uk as well as a string of commercial sites.
The defacements, courtesy of crackers calling themselves Evil Angelica all read, "Och aye admin ya Website's been took doon by that canny lass Evil Angelica! Ah, bonny Scotland... The land where men wear skirts with furry purses on front." They go on to make a number of jokes at the expense of the Scottish, one of which describes bagpipes as "offensive and inaccurate".
A spokesman for one of the defaced sites, www.edinburgh-tattoo.co.uk, which is dedicated to a famous military parade held at Edinburgh Castle each year, says that the attack did not affect the site for long. "It was a St Andrew's Day prank," he says. "It was [defaced for] a short while during the night and quickly removed."
The Scottish Tourist Board admits that the defacements come at a time when national pride is at its strongest. "It is disappointing that these should appear, especially on St Andrew's day. It is quite cheeky," says a spokesman. He asks Internet users to go to sites such as www.scotland.com to get a less "stereotypical" view of Scotland.
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