Anonymous takes down UK government websites in Assange attack

He's not the messiah; he's a very naughty boy


Anonymous is claiming to have begun shutting down UK government websites in protest of the treatment of Julian Assange.

At around 8pm UT, the UK Justice Department website went down under a distributed denial of service attack. About 40 minutes later the Department of Work and Pensions website was also taken offline. Both operations were carried out under the name #OpFreeAssange, Anonymous Twitter feeds report.

According to the latest attack data, the next target is the website for the Prime Minister's Number 10, and automated attack tools are being distributed that try to DDoS that site too.

curiosity landing site

Number 10 looks to be next on the list (click to enlarge)

All this activity is unlikely to change the government's attitude to Julian Assange, however. The police cordon around the Ecuadorian embassy is still in place and everyone going in and out is being checked. Downing a few websites is hardly an attack on infrastructure.

Yesterday Assange addressed supporters from the embassy, looking not a little like Graham Chapman in Life of Brian. Assange called on the US to end its "witch-hunt" of WikiLeaks and to free Bradley Manning, the source of the US diplomatic cables. Manning has spent over 800 days in solitary confinement since being arrested. ®


Other stories you might like

  • Uncle Sam to clip wings of Pegasus-like spyware – sorry, 'intrusion software' – with proposed export controls

    Surveillance tech faces trade limits as America syncs policy with treaty obligations

    More than six years after proposing export restrictions on "intrusion software," the US Commerce Department's Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS) has formulated a rule that it believes balances the latitude required to investigate cyber threats with the need to limit dangerous code.

    The BIS on Wednesday announced an interim final rule that defines when an export license will be required to distribute what is basically commercial spyware, in order to align US policy with the 1996 Wassenaar Arrangement, an international arms control regime.

    The rule [PDF] – which spans 65 pages – aims to prevent the distribution of surveillance tools, like NSO Group's Pegasus, to countries subject to arms controls, like China and Russia, while allowing legitimate security research and transactions to continue. Made available for public comment over the next 45 days, the rule is scheduled to be finalized in 90 days.

    Continue reading
  • Global IT spending to hit $4.5 trillion in 2022, says Gartner

    The future's bright, and expensive

    Corporate technology soothsayer Gartner is forecasting worldwide IT spending will hit $4.5tr in 2022, up 5.5 per cent from 2021.

    The strongest growth is set to come from enterprise software, which the analyst firm expects to increase by 11.5 per cent in 2022 to reach a global spending level of £670bn. Growth has fallen slightly, though. In 2021 it was 13.6 per cent for this market segment. The increase was driven by infrastructure software spending, which outpaced application software spending.

    The largest chunk of IT spending is set to remain communication services, which will reach £1.48tr next year, after modest growth of 2.1 per cent. The next largest category is IT services, which is set to grow by 8.9 per cent to reach $1.29tr over the next year, according to the analysts.

    Continue reading
  • Memory maker Micron moots $150bn mega manufacturing moneybag

    AI and 5G to fuel demand for new plants and R&D

    Chip giant Micron has announced a $150bn global investment plan designed to support manufacturing and research over the next decade.

    The memory maker said it would include expansion of its fabrication facilities to help meet demand.

    As well as chip shortages due to COVID-19 disruption, the $21bn-revenue company said it wanted to take advantage of the fact memory and storage accounts for around 30 per cent of the global semiconductor industry today.

    Continue reading

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2021