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Anonymous attack knocks Home Office offline

hacking

By Nicole Kobie

Posted on 8 Apr 2012 at 11:46

The Home Office website was taken offline by a denial-of-service attack, claimed by Anonymous.

The Government website went down around 9pm Saturday evening, and was intermittently accessible this morning, according to a report from the BBC.

An Anonymous Twitter feed said the attack was to protest the possible extradition of UK citizens to the US, dubbing it "Operation Trial at Home".

"OpTrialAtHome is offered in protest of the potential extradition of Gary McKinnon, Christopher Harold Tappin and Richard O'Dwyer," the tweet said, with another adding: "Selling your citizens to foreigner is not acceptable!"

The group said to expect more attacks "every Saturday" on Government sites.

McKinnon, who has Asperger's Syndrome, has been battling extradition to the US over a NASA hack for nine years, while 23-year-old O'Dwyer is accused of copyright violations for running the TV Shack website. Tappin is accused of exporting weapons materials to Iran.

In response to a question online, Anonymous stresed the attack wasn't a hack, but a "digital protest", held because Britons "want their Government to listen."

Ahead of the attack, a spokesperson for the Government agency said it was "aware of some reports that the Home Office website may be the subject of an online protest".

"We have put all potential measures in place and will be monitoring the situation very closely," the statement added, according to The Guardian.

The Anonymous feed also said it was targeting justice.gov.uk and number10.gov.uk.

Risky attack?

Graham Cluley, senior technology consultant of security firm Sophos, noted previous attacks against the Government, notably the Serious Organised Crime Agency, have led to arrests.

"You have to admit that this is an audacious move by Anonymous and its supporters," he added in a blog post. "Other hacktivists who have launched DDoS attacks against websites belonging to British authorities have been arrested in recent history, and are currently facing trial."

"Don't forget, denial-of-service attacks are illegal," he warned. "If you participate in such an attack you could find yourself receiving a lengthy jail sentences."

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User comments

On whose behalf?

Do these folk consider their actions to be democratic? Just an ego trip perhaps.

By JayGeEm on 9 Apr 2012

@JayGeEm

And what exactly do you think they should do?

We have a government that has been proven to be corrupt, that has defrauded the taxpayer of untold millions in the expenses claims, that get's paid money for the PM's ear, that on one had promises a get tough stance on tax avoidance while dropping the highest earners tax liabilities, that gives BILLIONS to the banks so that they can still play their games, and get's away with. That's correct, gets away with it.

Change is coming folks, Change is coming.

By CraigieDD on 9 Apr 2012

.... And who's policy is now to try and shut anyone up who dares to question their governance. These are the same people who tether the media, and control what's allowed into the public domain. In America, they just need to say it's not in the security interests of the country and a story is squashed. We're heading the same way... It's no coincedence that on the same weekend we have a protestor in the river at the boat race that other protests are gaining momentum.

Whether we like it or not, sitting on our bums and doing nothing is no longer an option.

Change is coming.

By CraigieDD on 9 Apr 2012

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