Anonymous attacks UK Prime Minister and Home Office websites with DDoS assault

Filed Under: Denial of Service, Featured, Law & order

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.

Home Office website

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.

Tweets from Anonymous about attack on UK Home Office

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:

Home office website down

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.uk

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20 Responses to Anonymous attacks UK Prime Minister and Home Office websites with DDoS assault

  1. This is a message from Anonymous to all the world.

    We are citizens of the world who bear witness to tyranny, oppression and censorship. We are activists who seek to change the system and end the cycle of corruption. We seek to create transparency in government and all institutions of public service. We resist those who seek to violate your rights as a human being.

    As a collective of autonomous individuals, we have no leaders who dictate the methods of resistance.

    Being Anonymous simply means that one shares the values and principles of freedom, the defense of it and pursuit for it. We are ordinary people concerned with the state of this world. We are from all walks of life, we are everywhere.

    United as this one idea called Anonymous, we desire a change. A change that is for once in the better interest of the people of this world.

    We are Anonymous.
    We are Legion.
    We do not forgive.
    We do not forget.
    Expect us.

    • And then next Thursday, 98% of Britons won't even remember that the website was down for a few hours (I doubt its the hot site kids visit before YouTube), and the 2% who do remember won't have a clue why it was done.

      But of course, you expected that.

    • We are n00bz.
      We are cowards.
      We often fai.
      We always forget.
      Arrest us

      I'm sure we can come up with a better motto for these clowns.

      • anonymous · 924 days ago

        Yes - they are obviously right-wing activists inside the security forces who want to take away our freedom by censoring the internet.
        How could anyone believe that the worlds top scientists are unable to protect their websites against this kind of assault? LOIC works in a very specific way, and is easy to protect against. Plus it leaves all services other than HTTP intact, so the 'hackers' can still reach their email accounts and play games.
        My name for them is FBI.

    • Wiley_E_Coyote · 926 days ago

      Had your fun? Good, now what? Nothing has changed. Nobody really cares that the Home Office website was offline for a few hours.

      Think about it for a while: all you have done is poked an already angry dog and made it even more upset.

      If you really want to make a difference, perhaps consider turning your attention to something positive: http://hackersforcharity.com/

      ....but I suppose there's no kudos in solving technical challenges for the sake of humanity is there?

      • Richard · 924 days ago

        Nothing has changed? On the contrary - the government now has more "evidence" that they need blanket surveillance of all citizens to prevent this sort of "terrorism".

    • Peter J Taylor · 924 days ago

      MaxProle claims Anonymous to be a "collective of autonomous individuals". That is a contradiction in terms. In practice they are conspirators in anarchy.

      Anarchists believe in their freedom to do anything they want, as opposed to liberals who believe we should be able to exercise maximum liberty as long as it does not infringe the liberty of others.

  2. zxcv · 927 days ago

    So what if that's illegal - their actions are the same...
    And besides how they will rule if they won't have anyone to rule ?
    They won't arrest us all as they would die out of starving as those who rule don't even know how work looks like...

  3. Privacy Matters · 927 days ago

    In spirit, I admire what the Anonymous hactivists do. But I am asking myself "Is this REALLY getting anything REALLY important done? Isn't is something like hitting a teacher from behind with a spit-ball? Hacking skills could be far better put to use in other ways. Ways that REALLY get something important to be done, and not just an annoying nuscense (sp).

    • Anonymous · 927 days ago

      Dear Sir,

      The objective of any form of protest is to make your voice heard to the authority or the people in charge. In this case, they have succeeded to do so. They have caught the attention of the parties intended. Even though you may not consider this 'important', this is NOT hitting a teacher from behind with a spit-ball, this is kicking him on his nuts with a full force so he may not abuse you again.

      Thank you.

      regards,
      Anonymous

    • Anonymous · 926 days ago

      There is no 'hacking' involved. No permanent damage is done. Nothing is stolen. Access to a web site is temporarily blocked.

      This is a beautiful cycle of dissent: Anonymous picket. The cops make arrests. The newspapers write lies. Someone somewhere is radicalized...

      Viva la revolucion.

  4. Vonnie · 927 days ago

    Anarchy in the UK, Commonwealth, Europe and the whole world. If we had done our job rite in the 70's we would not have let our younger generations down, the very least we can do now is support them.

  5. Mike · 927 days ago

    Slow clap for Anonymous.
    So, whenever you disagree with anything a government does, you DDOS a website. In this example, some student set up a for-profit site promoting copyright infringement, made a ton of money from other people's labor, and finally got arrested and is being brought to trial. Boo-freaking-hoo. The whole point of a trial is to determine whether he's guilty and, if so, assign an appropriate punishment.

    But the brave lads of Anonymous, cowering in Mom's basement, look for stop the wheels of this percieved injustice not by writing real letters to their representatives or trying to change the laws, but by making the public web page unreachable for a few hours. Very impressive. They should spray-paint some graffiti on the building and throw a few eggs at the windows for good measure -- except that would require some modicum of courage.

    Basically, we've got a bunch of vandals and thugs attacking anyone they don't agree with from the safe haven of an anonymous internet. It's exactly like a bunch of hooligans spitballing the teacher whenever he turns his back. When the internet is turned into a walled garden and anonymity is no longer permitted, we'll know who to thank. The pathetic jerks who made it blindingly obvious that the public can't be trusted with nice things.

    • Janet · 926 days ago

      "When the internet is turned into a walled garden and anonymity is no longer permitted, we'll know who to thank."

      Er, really? You are blaming future state oppression on the protestors currently fighting state oppression! That seems confused to me.

      How about this for an idea:

      If you don't want oppression then shout at those who might oppress you (not those already resisting).

      • Richard · 924 days ago

        But the means they're using to fight state oppression will be used by the state to justify further oppression.

        We might know they're not "hackers" or "terrorists", but the majority of the public won't; they'll just read the news reports that "internet terrorists" have "hacked" the government's web-site, and that means we all need to submit to more surveillance.

  6. In other news someone has noticed that there IS a Home Office web site

    Good advert for the UK Government I wonder if their genuine traffic increases after this

    • Janet · 926 days ago

      True. The denial of service probably didn't even inconvenience anybody!

      I can't imagine any traffic increase beyond a few additional home page hits today.

    • Tim · 925 days ago

      Maybe not so much a "denial of service attack"
      more so a "creation of service attack"

  7. Melb. · 925 days ago

    I'm not sure how this is any different to people protesting in the street and blocking traffic?
    It's funny reading the old hippies above "I'm not what they want to achieve?". They want publicity for their cause and they got it. Oh and they stayed toasty & warm inside.

  8. AnonymousBotaholic · 893 days ago

    It's not just you! http://number10.gov.uk looks down from here.

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About the author

Graham Cluley runs his own award-winning computer security blog, and is a veteran of the anti-virus industry having worked for a number of security companies since the early 1990s. Now an independent security analyst, he regularly makes media appearances and gives computer security presentations. Send Graham an email, subscribe to his updates on Facebook, follow him on Twitter and App.net, and circle him on Google Plus for regular updates.