Hacktivists have launched a series of DDoS attacks on UK, US and Swedish government websites in the latest leg of a campaign to embarrass countries seen as pursuing Wikileaks founder Julian Assange.
Swedish websites reportedly targeted in the last two days included its armed forces and the Swedish Institute before attacks were turned on the US Department of State, Department of Education, and even Harvard University.
Exactly which entities were attacked and their success was claimed on Twitter accounts but the US State Department was confirmed to have been downed for a period of time.
In the UK, the MI5 the sis.gov.uk and mi5.gov.uk were reported to have been unavailable between around 9.30am and 11am BST on 4 September.
Such attacks are now routine although claims by the perpetrators that they have found a way to beat protection put in place to stop such attacks hasn’t gone unnoticed.
“Although these comments may be sensationalising the attack that brought down both sites for just over an hour, it should serve as fair warning to any government agency or business that operates online,” commented Corero Network Security’s vice president, Paul Lawrence.
“A motivated hacker who has targeted your organisation will find even the smallest of flaws in your security and exploit it.”
And motivation doesn’t seem to be in short supply. Two weeks ago ‘Operation Free Assange’ launched disruptive DDoS attacks against the website of the UK Ministry of Justice.
Last week a lone attacker stole low-level data from at least one UK police website while also attacking two others. Using automated tools, websites are still easy meat.