The website of the British Home Office is thought to have become the latest victim of the hacking group Anonymous. On Saturday evening the site was inaccessible, with a message simply displaying: “Due to a high volume of traffic this page is currently unavailable.”
While the site was down there were tweets from Anonymous claiming responsibility for what appears to have been a denial-of-service attack:
Anonymous had actually warned of their planned attack well in advance of the site being down, with tweets and posts about taking down the Home Office site appearing online as early as Wednesday last week.
Explaining the reason behind this particular attack, one digital flyer said that the action was taking place in support of three Britons facing deportation to the US on various charges – Gary McKinnon (hacking), Christopher Tappin (arms dealing), and Richard O’Dwyer (copyright infringement).
One of the articles attempting to galvanize Anonymous sympathisers into helping with the attack was accompanied by this statement: “A faction of hactivist group Anonymous in the UK has invited its supporters to draw digital arms in protest against the extradition of three UK citizens to the US.”
This incident is said to be particularly embarrassing for the Home Office given that this sort of attack (denial-of-service) is one of the least complicated tools at a hacker’s disposal, as well as the fact that they were warned about it well in advance.
During the attack on Saturday a Home Office spokesman said: “We are aware of the situation and are working on it.”