Hackers target UK Justice Ministry site

Last updated 12:49 21/08/2012

Relevant offers

Digital Living

Google wants to know when users, tempted by an online advert, go to the shops Leaked: hundreds of internal Facebook documents on sex, violence, and terrorism Businessman's ransom nightmare at the hands of cyber hackers Instagram is the worst social network for young people's mental health Google's focus on AI means it will get even deeper into our lives Computer course helping 'digitally disadvantaged' saves ailing mother's family Online retail giants force NZ businesses to implement digital strategies Cyberattack hits at least 200,000 victims in 150 countries British researcher Marcus Hutchins finds kill switch, 'accidentally' stops malware crippling computers worldwide New Zealand upping digital security after 'massive' worldwide cyberattack

Britain's Ministry of Justice said Monday it was looking into disruptions on its website, after online activists claimed they hacked into the site as part of a campaign to back WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange.

The loosely-organised group of hackers known as Anonymous claimed it was targeting the ministry's website to protest Britain's treatment of Assange, who is taking refuge inside Ecuador's embassy in London to avoid extradition to Sweden for questioning over sexual misconduct.

Ecuador granted the 41-year-old Australian diplomatic asylum last week, but Britain has said it will not grant him safe passage out of the UK, insisting that it must follow the law and deliver him to Sweden on a binding European arrest warrant.

Assange claims that if Britain extradites him to Swedish authorities, he will be handed over to the US as part of a Washington-orchestrated plot to make him stand trial in the US for revealing a trove of American diplomatic and military secrets. The US says such claims are "wild assertions" that try to deflect attention from the sexual misconduct allegations Assange faces in Sweden.

Anonymous said on Twitter on Monday that it aimed to take down a number of British government websites as part of a campaign called "Operation Free Assange," warning: "Gov. of UK expect us!"

The Justice Ministry said its website was "experiencing some disruptions" but that no data has been lost.

"This is a public information website and no sensitive data is held on it. No other Ministry of Justice systems have been affected," it said in a statement. "Measures put in place to keep the website running mean that some visitors may be unable to access the site intermittently."

The website's main home page appeared to be down late Monday, although its other content pages are functioning normally.

Ad Feedback

- AP

Special offers

Featured Promotions

Sponsored Content