Anonymous UK vows to target GCHQ again

A British branch of the hacktivist group will launch its next DDoS attacks against GCHQ and the Home Office this weekend as part of protests against the extradition treaty between the US and UK

British members of Anonymous plan to take another crack at bringing down GCHQ and Home Office sites on Saturday, as the hacking group continues its weekend campaigns.

UK branch member 'Winston Smith' revealed the next targets for Operation Trial at Home distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attacks in an online radio broadcast on Monday.

"What's the next target for attack? Definitely GCHQ, and it's definitely the Home Office," Smith said in answer to a question on Twitter from ZDNet UK.

Anonymous launched its weekend Operation Trial At Home campaign to protest against the extradition treaty between the US and the UK, which critics say favours US authorities. NASA hacker Gary McKinnon is among the people who have been affected by the treaty.

The hacking group has twice succeeded in taking the Home Office website offline over the past weeks, but has not managed to overwhelm GCHQ's site. The intelligence agency, the Home Office and the Metropolitan Police had not responded to a request for comment at the time of writing.

What's the next target for attack? Definitely GCHQ, and it's definitely the Home Office.

– 'Winston Smith', Anonymous

In the online radio broadcast, which lasted almost three hours, one of the UK branches of Anonymous discussed the Operation Trial At Home push.

Two participants, 'Face' and 'Murdoch', spoke using voice synthesisers, while Smith used his own voice and other members communicated via internet relay chat (IRC). Some members styled themselves after characters from The A-Team TV series, and Smith referred to people called 'The Hoff', 'The Doctor', 'Spiderman' and 'Stella'.

The group discussed possible targets, expressing antipathy towards the Information Commissioner's Office, the judiciary and the government. They also talked about their motivation, saying they were protesting about the predicament of Gary McKinnon and what they saw as the inconstant application of the Computer Misuse Act.

Asked whether he was concerned about being identified, Smith said: "I make no secret about who I am... My potential arrest is coming." He gave a number of possible identifying details during the broadcast, including references to his military service and life in Northern Ireland.

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