The website for Greater Manchester Police was targeted by two Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attacks yesterday, which rendered the site unavailable for more than two hours. The operators of two Twitter accounts have claimed responsibility.
Greater Manchester Police (GMP) released a statement confirming that the force's "website became unavailable at approximately 8pm last night".
The force noted that "initial checks did not reveal anything untoward and the system was quickly brought back online".
The statement added: "However, a short time later the website became unavailable again and an individual on Twitter has since claimed responsibility for causing the website to crash."
The site, which was down in total for two hours and 15 minutes, is now back online.
Two accounts on Twitter have claimed responsibility.
Contacting The Register by direct message, @n0w1337 denied using established stress-testing applications, instead claiming in either non-native English or fairly sophisticated stylometry-foiling jargon, that they had used their own botnet.
I infect people and I'm out there scattered in various self infects the sites use them to make the connection attack. I send emails to people download is an engineering type they fall something thinking it's the original product when performing take full computer control.
When asked whether they believed it was wrong to attack websites, they responded: "I do not think for me is a way to show to them as I am not sure it is a way to have fun."
They dismissed the idea of being caught for their attacks: "Since I started in this world no one ever found me."
The GMP's Deputy Chief Constable Ian Hopkins said: "We are treating this as a denial of service attack, which is a malicious attempt to disrupt services."
Hopkins stated that the server for the GMP website is not connected to the force's operational systems, and that the information contained on the website is all public information. The statement followed the wide misreporting of the incident as a "hack".
A Lizard Squad-linked twitter account claimed responsibility for a DDoS attack directed at the UK National Crime Agency's website earlier this week.
Responding to that incident, an NCA spokesperson dismissed the technical sophistication of the attacks, saying: "DDoS is a blunt form of attack which takes volume and not skill. It isn’t a security breach, and it doesn’t affect our operational capability."
@n0w1337 told The Register they would be launching other attacks today. ®