UK Government Websites May Be Next Targets

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Headlines

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Sir Peter Ricketts, the UK's national security adviser, has issued warnings that UK government websites could be the next victims of WikiLeaks hacking attempts to derive materials for dispersal.

"The priority would be websites that dealt with information that belonged to members of the public such as the DWP [Department for Work and Pensions] and HMRC [Revenues and Customs]," an official with the UK Government said.

Government websites may be targeted with distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks by pro-WikiLeaks supporters.

Groups such as Anonymous and members of 4chan are reported to be shifting strategies, but the leadership in the UK fears they may engage in DDoS attacks on social service websites.

Successful DDoS attacks have recently been launched against the PayPal blog, MasterCard, Visa, the Swedish Prosecutors, PostFinance Bank, EveryDNS, Senator Joe Lieberman's government hosted site, and several others, resulting in periods of downtime.

Developers associated with Anonymous, the international pro-piracy and pro-WikiLeaks association of hackivists, are working to correct deficiencies in the Low Orbit Ion Cannon (LOIC) software used in recent DDoS campaigns.

The notion that UK government websites may be targeted surround the arrest of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, who is currently free on bail, but may ultimately be extradited to Sweden to face charges not directly related to the group's disclosure of classified U.S. documents.

Source:  http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-11990288

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