UK GOV Sites Face Downtime Due to DDoS from Anonymous

(Ping! Zine Web Hosting Magazine) – The Easter weekend proved busy for notorious hacking group Anonymous. According to a report from PCWorld, the organization successfully crashed UK government websites for the Prime Minister’s office, the UK Ministry of Justice and homeoffice.gov.uk.

The attack style used was DDoS, a common tactic in the hacktivist community. According to several reports, motives for the operation included extradition proceedings against three British citizens along with the country’s surveillance policies.

“You should not give UK citizens to foreign countries without evidence. If an offence happened in the UK, so should the trial,” stated a Twitter message in support of the operation included in a report from the Guardian.

Involved in one of the extradition cases is Richard O’Dwyer, founder of TVShack, a website dedicated to media sharing. U.S. authorities have accused the site of sharing pirated content. Meanwhile, the other two British nationals included Gary McKinnon, accused of hacking a U.S. military network and Christopher Tappin who allegedly sold weapons technology to Iran.

According to the Guardian, attempting to visit homeoffice.gov.uk displayed users with an unavailable message related to high amounts of traffic. However, as of Sunday, the sites appeared to return to normal functionality.

Within the past year, those in the hacktivist community have gained a larger profile due to their involvement in widespread attacks on sites belonging to government agencies and companies worldwide. Just last week, Anonymous was reported to be involved in a number of Chinese website breaches with the country’s human rights record being cited as a motive. Meanwhile, in March, wireless provider Verizon released a report attributing 58% of stolen data during the course of 2011 to hacktivism.

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