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

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags wikileakspaypalvisaInternet & broadbandPC securityDesktop securityDepartment for Work and Pensions

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Carrie-Ann Skinner

Computerworld UK
Show Comments

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Maryellen Rose George

Brother PT-P750W

It’s useful for office tasks as well as pragmatic labelling of equipment and storage – just don’t get too excited and label everything in sight!

Cathy Giles

Brother MFC-L8900CDW

The Brother MFC-L8900CDW is an absolute stand out. I struggle to fault it.

Luke Hill

MSI GT75 TITAN

I need power and lots of it. As a Front End Web developer anything less just won’t cut it which is why the MSI GT75 is an outstanding laptop for me. It’s a sleek and futuristic looking, high quality, beast that has a touch of sci-fi flare about it.

Emily Tyson

MSI GE63 Raider

If you’re looking to invest in your next work horse laptop for work or home use, you can’t go wrong with the MSI GE63.

Laura Johnston

MSI GS65 Stealth Thin

If you can afford the price tag, it is well worth the money. It out performs any other laptop I have tried for gaming, and the transportable design and incredible display also make it ideal for work.

Andrew Teoh

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

Touch screen visibility and operation was great and easy to navigate. Each menu and sub-menu was in an understandable order and category

Featured Content

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?