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Swedish sysadmins reach for the hex key, reassemble services after weekend DDoS

News sites bork-bork-borked for spreading 'false propaganda'

News outlets in Sweden went dark over the weekend in the face of a large-scale distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attack.

Newspaper Dagens Nyheter (DN) reports here (but English-speakers will need help with the translation) that as well as the attack it suffered, media outlets Expression, Svenska Dagbladet, Aftonbladet, Sydsvenskan, Helsingborgs Dagblad, and financial outlet Dagens Industri were hit.

DN says the police and security services (Sweden's Civil Contingencies Agency) are involved, but the only public threat that's been made was a single tweet (account since deleted) threatening both media and government outlets for "spreading false propaganda."

Most of the outlets targeted said they were able to get on top of the attacks, which began at 19:30 on Saturday night, but the CEO of Industry Association Newspaper Publishers in Sweden described the attack as "very severe."

Anders Ahlqvist of Sweden's Police Cybercrime Agency says the office has contacted (in Swedish) both national and international partners to track down the attack sources.

Ahlqvist said the attacks came from "hijacked computers" and seems to hint that they were in Russia ("to the east," at least), but warned DN against attribution, since the attack may have been coordinated elsewhere.

He told the outlet the weekend attackers were more coordinated than large-scale DDoS attacks that hit government and private-sector sites in 2012.

Swedish newsagency TT says ferry company Destination Gotland was also hit in the attacks. ®

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