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Home Office Hit By Anonymous DDoS Attack

Hackivist group Anonymous has struck again at another high profile government target, this time in the UK.

At the weekend, the UK's Home Office website was downed by a distributed denial-of-service attack, apparently for several hours during Saturday evening. Access on Sunday morning was also flaky.

Anonymous tweeted: "Tango Down: http://www.homeoffice.gov.uk. Keep Firing!!!! Keep it down! Make them hear you!"

The online activist collective claimed in a later tweet that it had hit further government sites: "#Anonymous launched a cyberattack on http://www.number10.gov.uk, http://www.homeoffice.gov.uk & http://www.justice.gov.uk resulting in multiple TANGO DOWNS."

According to the BBC, Anonymous is planning such attacks every weekend. A further tweet stated: "Expect a DDoS (distributed denial-of-service) every Saturday on the UK Government sites."

The reason the Anon hive is so stirred up at the moment? Well, there appears to be a double motive - the first being to protest against the government allowing the extradition of UK citizens to face trial in the US.

Anonymous Operations tweeted: "#OpTrialAtHome is offered in protest of the potential extradition of Gary McKinnon, Christopher Harold Tappin & Richard O'Dwyer."

The other reason is the government's incoming online and phone call snooping legislation which extends GCHQ's surveillance powers.

Home Office officials noted that no data was touched during the attack, and the site is now back to normal. A Downing Street spokesman said the number 10 site hadn't been taken down, but did admit access was slow for a time.

Source: BBC (opens in new tab)

Darren Allan
Contributor

Darran has over 25 years of experience in digital and magazine publishing as a writer and editor. He's also an author, having co-written a novel published by Little, Brown (Hachette UK). He currently writes news, features and buying guides for TechRadar, and occasionally other Future websites such as T3 or Creative Bloq and he's a copy editor for TechRadar Pro. Darrran has written for a large number of tech and gaming websites/magazines in the past, including Web User and ComputerActive. He has also worked at IDG Media, having been the Editor of PC Games Solutions and the Deputy Editor of PC Home.