Groups of Anonymous hacktivists from around the world plan to focus distributed denial-of-service attacks on organisations including the Home Office, GCHQ, and McDonald's on Saturday.
Activists from Sweden, Brazil, the US and Russia will participate in attacks on the websites of the Home Office, GCHQ, MI5, MI6, Theresa May, Number 10, the Supreme Court, McDonald's, EDL, BNP, the Be my Parent adoption agency, and Justice, members of UK Anonymous group AnonAteam told ZDNet UK via an internet radio broadcast on Wednesday.
"We've scanned [GCHQ and the Home Office]," Anonymous hacker 'Winston Smith' said. "We've uncovered paths we didn't realise were available, from the scans that we've done."
A hacker identified as 'Murdoch' directed ZDNet UK to a Pastebin document — purportedly the results of scans of systems of the organisations to be targeted.
"GCHQ is running on Linux 2.6.18 and has got port 80 open," Smith told ZDNet UK. "We will try to attack four [GCHQ] ports."
Smith said that Anonymous had gleaned information from a failed attempt to take down the GCHQ website last weekend.
"[GCHQ] moved around some of the pages we were attacking before — we couldn't analyse the traceroutes," said Smith. "There will be three or four types of attack, using three or four types of technology. We have agreed with other groups to attack together."
The Home Office website was attacked during the course of the radio broadcast on Wednesday, and was intermittently up and down, according to checks made by ZDNet UK.
Before those disruptions, a Home Office spokesman said the government department was bracing itself for attacks.
"We treat threats and disruption to government websites very seriously," the spokesman told ZDNet UK. "We have a computer emergency response team providing support to all departments to ensure there is the necessary security in place to defend against future denial-of-service attempts."
GCHQ said it was aware of the threat.