Last Updated on Wednesday, 22 August 2012 18:14 Published on Wednesday, 22 August 2012 18:14
Anonymous has claimed it attacked and forced offline a number of the UK government's websites in response to its treatment of Julian Assange.
The UK Justice Department's website went offline first on Monday evening (UK time), followed by the Home Office's site. The Department for Work and Pensions was also taken offline.
All three sites are back up and running this morning.
Twitter accounts claiming to represent the hacking collective said a series of distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks were launched in response to the stance the UK government has taken on WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange and his plea for asylum in Ecuador.
Anonymous Operations, considered by some to be the group's main and most reliable Twitter account, posted a message claiming it was behind the attack.
"#OpFreeAssange - Tango Down: http://homeoffice.gov.uk | #Anonymous #Assange #Wikileaks," read one tweet. The account also retweeted a message from @AnonOpsLegion, claiming credit for the DWP and Justice Department attacks.
Assange is currently staying at the Ecuadorian embassy in London. He has been granted asylum by the Latin American country as he attempts to avoid extradition to Sweden to face sexual assault charges.
Assange and his supporters fear any extradition to Sweden will result in further extradition to the United States, where he is likely to face charges for his part in various WikiLeaks revelations, such as the release of millions of diplomatic cables. [cbronline]