We use cookies to provide you with a better experience. If you continue to use this site, we'll assume you're happy with this. Alternatively, click here to find out how to manage these cookies

hide cookie message
80,258 News Articles

Govt websites could face WikiLeaks revenge attack

UK security advisor warns PM of dangers

The UK's national security advisor has warned that government websites used to upload tax returns or claims benefits are at risk of attack from hackers who support WikiLeaks.

Sir Peter Ricketts believes government websites will come under fire from the Anonymous group if Wikileaks founder Julian Assange is extradited to Sweden. Assange, who was arrested in London last week, is wanted in Sweden on one count of unlawful coercion, two counts of sexual molestation and one count of rape. Ricketts has warned the Prime Minister today about the risk, and the websites that face the biggest threat.

"The priority would be websites that dealt with information that belonged to members of the public such as the DWP [Department for Work and Pensions] and HMRC [Revenues and Customs]," a spokesman for Prime Minister David Cameron revealed.

A group of online activists, known as Anonymous, has already launched DDoS attacks against a number of firms that revealed they were not supporting WikiLeaks, which recently began publishing a cache of more than 250,000 sensitive cables from the US Department of State. These included Mastercard, Visa and PayPal, which all stopped processing donations to WikiLeaks.

Last week, an American internet activist who previously worked with the hackers told The Telegraph that UK government websites could be the next target.

"They will go after the weakest links, because they want to see results. They will probably test a few sites and then decide," said Gregg Housh.

See also: WikiLeaks: China pressured Google on internet censorship


IDG UK Sites

Best January sales 2015 UK tech deals LIVE: Best New Year bargains and savings on phones, tablets,...

IDG UK Sites

Chromebooks: ready for the prime time (but not for everybody)

IDG UK Sites

Best Photoshop Tutorials 2014: 10 inspiring step-by-step guides to creating amazing art,...

IDG UK Sites

Complete guide to iPhone and iPad settings: Get to know iOS 8 Settings UPDATED