Pro Assange movement sees attacks on Swedish and British government websites

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Anonymous has launched attacks on Swedish and British government targets.

Anonymous has launched attacks on Swedish and British government targets.

With attacks in support of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, the websites of the Swedish government, Armed Forces and the Swedish Institute were among those experiencing problems.

Speaking to the Associated Press, Niklas Englund, head of digital media at the Swedish Armed Forces, said it was unclear who was behind the so-called denial-of-service attacks, in which websites are overwhelmed with bogus traffic. However he noted that an unidentified group urging Sweden to take its ‘hands off Assange' claimed responsibility on Twitter.

WikiLeaks also confirmed in a tweet that the UK's Ministry of Defence has also been taken down, allegedly by pro-Assange protestors. Tweets also claimed that both the MI5 and MI6 websites were down for around an hour this morning, as Anonymous UK claimed that these were in protest at the treatment of Assange.

An Anonymous spokesperson told TechWeekEurope that the online protests were simply there to supplement the action outside the embassy, where Assange's supporters have gathered, many in Anonymous masks.

A Cabinet Office spokesperson told the website that the sites had been taken down by a DDoS but denied that the sites were hacked. The spokesperson also confirmed that no personal or sensitive information is held on them as they are public facing sites.

“We treat threats of disruption to government websites very seriously and will continue to monitor the situation closely,” the spokesperson said.

This article originally appeared at scmagazineuk.com

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