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UK Ministry of Justice downed by DDoS attack linked to NSA spying revelations

Hackers took down the UK Ministry of Justice website for several hours earlier this week in a distributed denial of service attack [DDoS] that is part of the fall out from the US National Security Agency [NSA] spying revelations.

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The government agency admitted through a Tweet that it had been compromised and the site was brought back to life just a few hours after the initial downtime.

“Unfortunately the Justice website is down following a DDoS attack last night, we are working hard to bring it back online ASAP,” the Ministry of Justice confirmed in a Tweet.

Hactivists have already claimed responsibility for the attack and claimed that the reason it was carried out was due to the agency not expressing disapproval over the NSA’s surveillance program that was uncovered earlier this year.

SC Magazine also reports that the UK GCHQ was targeted by a DDoS attack on the same day, which proved to be unsuccessful.

It isn’t the first time that hacktivists have launched attacks against the UK government’s websites and web infrastructure after Anonymous attacked sites back in August 2012. On that occasion the Ministry of Justice was, again, the one site that ended up crashing and staying offline for a number of hours.

The group, which also attempted to take down a number of other sites including that of the Home Office, claimed the attack was in retaliation to the country’s handling of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, who was seeking refuge in the Ecuadorian embassy in London at the time.

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Members of Anonymous have also attacked various government sites in the USA and 13 members of the collective were indicted in October 2013 on charges relating to DDoS attacks on government websites as well as those owned by record companies and credit card firms.