Hactivists at Anonymous Operations UK have launched a successful cyber-attack on the British Prime Minister and his government’s Home Office websites by flooding them with unwanted internet traffic. Anonymous’ actions are in support of hacker Gary McKinnon and TV Shack’s Richard O’Dwyer who face extradition from Britain to the United States, and in support of retired business man Christopher Tappin, who has already been extradited.
@AnonOpUk used a Distributed Denial of Service action to block the government’s websites, an offense punishable by prison. During the attack, which started at 9pm UK time, AnonOpUK tweeted:
Word of an attack on the Home Office websites had been known since yesterday when Hacker News reported:
Anonymous Plans 7 April Attack on British governmentUK hackers linked to the Anonymous group are encouraging supporters to attack the Home Office website this Saturday (7 April) in protest at the extradition of three UK citizens to the US. Called #OpTrialAtHome, the hacktivist group @AnonOpUK posted a warning on its Twitter page that an attack on the Home Office was planned for Saturday, 7 April.
An associated photo/poster shows images of Gary McKinnon, Richard Oâ€™Dwyer and Christopher Tappin. McKinnon and Oâ€™Dwyer are awaiting extradition from the UK to the US. Tappinâ€™s extradition was effected on 24 February when he was flown to El Paso, Texas.
Supporters have been encouraged to launch denial-of-service attacks on the Home Office’s IP address, which Anonymous has revealed. Those not savvy enough to launch automated attacks on the site could contribute to the effect by simply visiting the site in large numbers.
Julian Assange, the editor-in-chief and founder of WikiLeaks, was arrested in the UK under an EAW issued by Sweden, and is currently fighting extradition to Sweden.
McKinnon, a Scottish systems administrator, was arrested in 2002 for allegedly hacking into US military and Nasa computers in 2001 and 2002 and deleting files and copying data.
Tappin, a retired British businessman, is accused by the US government of illegally exporting materials to Iran for building surface-to-air missiles.
O’Dwyer, the owner of TVShack.net, is charged with hosting copyrighted materials on his site and the US Justice Department has been seeking his extradition since May 2011.
Anonymousâ€™ #OpTrialAtHome is timed to commence at 9:00pm on Saturday, April 7, with a DDoS attack on the Home Office website.
It was also promoted on Anonymous’ Tumblr site.
AnonOpUK’s actions have been erroneously reported, by both the BBC and Sky News, that the DDoS attack was over the British government’s latest “draconian surveillance proposals”, to which @AnonOpUk responded:
Both @BBCNews & @SkyNews reporting that #Anonymous is protesting surveillance laws. Main focus is anti-extradition, but fuck those laws too.
AnonOpUk has since tweeted:
#OpTrialAtHome Our online protest was successful, I am going quiet. BUT if you have itchy trigger fingers still. #OpLithChild #IsAGoodCause
via @Anon_Central Do you know why we launched #OpTrialAtHome? This is the reason: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-south-yorkshire-17355203 | #UK #Anonymous
Currently the Home Office and Prime Minister appear disrupted.
Follow AnonOpUK here.
Petition to stop extradition of Richard O’Dwyer.
Campaign to Free Gary McKinnon.
Petition to Free Christopher Tappin.
Read more at Naked Security.
This morning, April 8th, the BBC have now correctly reported the reasons for Anonymous’ cyber attack, highlighting the issues over extradition of U.K. citizens to the U.S.
In the following video news clip Karen Todner talks about the extradition of Richard O’Dwyer, Gary McKinnon and Christopher Tappin