Anonymous hacks UK government sites over 'draconian surveillance'

Anonymous hacks UK government sites over 'draconian surveillance'

Summary: Anonymous has launched a Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) against multiple UK government websites. The group is not pleased with the UK government's plans to monitor Internet users.


The hacktivist group Anonymous today hacked multiple U.K. government websites over the country's "draconian surveillance proposals" and "derogation of civil rights." At the time of writing, the following websites are down: (Home Office), (10 Downing Street - British Prime Minister's Office), and (Ministry of Justice).

This appears to be a Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attack with multiple targets. This means Anonymous is simply overloading the servers with more connections than they can handle, bringing the websites down, rather than stealing data. Then again, as we saw with the DDoS attacks against the Vatican, the group is perfectly capable of putting in a backdoor to make life easier when it wants to take the site down a second time.

Anonymous is angry with the U.K. government for wanting to monitor all Web and phone traffic. For more information, check out my colleague Zack Whittaker's article: UK's 'Patriot Act' Web monitoring law could face European veto. The hackers say the move is also to show they do not support extradition from the U.K. to the U.S., such as in the cases of Gary McKinnon, Richard O'Dwyer, and Christopher Tappin.

The following tweets are from Anon_Central, which has 120,000 followers, describing the attack:

#OpTrialAtHome -- Target: | ETA: 7 MINS! Charge your laz0rs and aim! #Anonymous #UK #OpTrialAtHome -- Target: | Fire! Fire!! Fire!!! Fire!!!! Soundtrack- #Anonymous #UK Pew Pew Pew #OpTrialAtHome : Tango Down: | Keep Firing!!!! Keep it down! Make them hear you! #Anonymous #UK #OpTrialAtHome: Added Tango Down: - #PrimeMinister's website | #Anonymous #UK #OpTrialAtHome -- Target: | Keep #Firing!!! Keep it down! Make your voice heard! #Anonymous #UK #OpTrialAtHome: Don't switch targets! Keep #Firing at: | #UK We have backup for #Anonymous #OpTrialAtHome: #Anonymous attacks #UK Prime Minister and Home Office #websites with #DDoS | #OpTrialAtHome: Added Tango Down: Ministry of Justice - | #UK v @On3iroi #UK | Keep firing! #Anonymous #Anonymous launched a cyberattack on, & resulting in multiple TANGO DOWNS.

After the attack was deemed a success, tweets detailing why the U.K. government was targeted started rolling in:

@SPCoulson its a digital #protest which is different than hacking. #UK want their #government to listen. We can do it as long as it takes! #OpTrialAtHome, because selling your citizens to foreigner is not acceptable! We are #Anonymous, We do not forget, We do not forgive. #UK #OpTrialAtHome is offered in protest of the potential extradition of Gary McKinnon, Christopher Harold Tappin & Richard O'Dwyer. #Anonymous

Meanwhile, the YourAnonNews Twitter account, which has 564,000 followers, had this to say:

TANGO DOWN - (via @AnonymouSpoon) For your draconian surveillance proposals! Told you to #ExpectUs! #ANONYMOUS #AnonUK TANGO DOWN #2: (via @AnonymouSpoon) For the draconian suveillance proposals and derogation of civil rights #ANONYMOUS RECAP: In the past HOUR, #Anonymous launched a cyberattack on & resulting in multiple TANGO DOWNS. TANGO DOWN #3: for continued derogation of civil liberties (va @OperationLeakS) #ANONYMOUS #DidYouExpectUsYet? #AnonUK How many admins do you think just had their Easters ruined? #AnonUK #Anonymous

The attacks against the U.K. government today closely follow attacks against hundreds of Chinese government, company, and other general websites over the last week. Those attacks are still ongoing.

See also:

Topics: Browser, CXO, Security, Software Development, IT Employment

Emil Protalinski

About Emil Protalinski

Emil is a freelance journalist writing for CNET and ZDNet. Over the years,
he has covered the tech industry for multiple publications, including Ars
Technica, Neowin, and TechSpot.

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  • Hack them

    Should hack Anonymous.
    Lets see who they are.
    • I Already Told You Who They Are, Einstein

      Anonymous Has Been Occupied:

      Hack away, chump.
    • Douche Bag

      You sir are a moron!!!
  • I can do this....Right?????

    ṁy beśt frienď'ś Śtep-ṀotĥeŔ ṁakeś $67 an ĥouŔ on tĥe laptop. Śĥe ĥaś been out of WoŔk for 9 Ṁontĥś but laśt ṁontĥ ĥer pay Waś $8816 juŚt WoŔking on tĥe laptop for a feW ĥouŔś. ĥeŔe'ś tĥe Śite to Ŕeaď ṁore>>>>
  • TF&ITW

    Empire of technological blogs TF&IT is looking for new staff ( posts writers ) or you can add to the partnership program and earn 30% of the profits from advertising.??

    J.M. USA
  • Anonymous Has Been Occupied

    Anonymous Has Been Occupied:
  • *CRIES*

    NO! NO-NO-NO-NO!!!! *bashes you over the head with a bottle of Strongbow*

    This is NOT hacking! NO! No it is not! This is p!$$!ng into someone's nostrils until they turn away to take a breath! Oh, fuq why do I even bother...
    beau parisi
  • Crooked Motherf'rs

    Take all the Governments shit down... Crush them between your Binary fingers... Seriously low level format some drives, push some nice code into their servers.... Burn their buildings to the ground etc.. I have grown a HATRED for all of the crooked motherf'rs!!