Anonymous hacktivists have launched a distributed denial-of-service attack against the websites of 10 Downing Street and the British government's Home Office website, preventing legitimate users from visiting the sites by flooding them with unwanted internet traffic.
The hacktivists, operating under the Anonymous banner, say that they have launched the action in support of Pentagon hacker Gary McKinnon and TVShack's Richard O'Dwyer who face extradition from the UK to the United States. The attackers have rallied others to join the denial-of-service attack via social networks such as Twitter.
One message read:
TANGO DOWN - http://www.homeoffice.gov.uk For your draconian surveillance proposals! Told you to #ExpectUs!
At the time of writing, the Home Office website is looking even less healthy to the outside world:
You have to admit that this is an audacious move by Anonymous and its supporters. Other hacktivists who have launched DDoS attacks against websites belonging to British authorities have been arrested in recent history, and are currently facing trial.
Don't forget, denial-of-service attacks are illegal. If you participate in such an attack you could find yourself receiving a lengthy jail sentences.
Update: Anonymous now appear to have disrupted access to the official website of the British Prime Minister, www.number10.gov.ukFollow @gcluley