Anonymous attacks UK government websites over Assange extradition
The UK Ministry of Justice has experienced problems with the availability of its website following a denial-of-service attack by hacktivist collective Anonymous, which is demanding freedom for WikiLeaks’ founder Julian Assange who was last week granted asylum by Ecuador.
The hacker group said via its Twitter feed on Monday that it had taken down the Justice Ministry website as part of its ‘Operation Free Assange’. The British police have stated that they will arrest Assange if he comes out of the Ecuador embassy in London, where he has taken refuge since June, to extradite him to Sweden where he is wanted for investigations into alleged sexual misconduct.
The Ministry of Justice confirmed it is having problems with the availability of its website, and doesn’t have a timeframe for when it will be resolved. Measures put in place to keep the website running mean that some visitors may be intermittently unable to access the site, according to a statement.
Other government sites, including the Department for Work and Pensions, the Home Office and the Prime Minister’s site, have also been targeted, according to Anonymous’ Twitter feed. But it doesn’t seem like they have been as hard hit.
Questions about their availability weren’t immediately answered this morning, but the three websites were more responsive.
Ecuador said it gave Assange political asylum over fears he would be prosecuted, and extradited from Sweden to the US on charges related to the information WikiLeaks has published.
Two of WikiLeaks’ most widely reported leaks involved US diplomatic cables (Cablegate) and a video from a US helicopter gunship in Iraq (the so-called Collateral Murder video). A US Army private, Bradley Manning, is charged with leaking the documents and is being held pending a military trial.
IDG News Service