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!

Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection

Tags PC securitysecurityvisawikileaksDesktop securitypaypalInternet & broadbandDepartment 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

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Sarah Ieroianni

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.

Ratchada Dunn

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The Huddle Board’s built in program; Sharp Touch Viewing software allows us to easily manipulate and edit our documents (jpegs and PDFs) all at the same time on the dashboard.

George Khoury

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The biggest perks for me would be that it comes with easy to use and comprehensive programs that make the collaboration process a whole lot more intuitive and organic

David Coyle

Brother PocketJet PJ-773 A4 Portable Thermal Printer

I rate the printer as a 5 out of 5 stars as it has been able to fit seamlessly into my busy and mobile lifestyle.

Kurt Hegetschweiler

Brother PocketJet PJ-773 A4 Portable Thermal Printer

It’s perfect for mobile workers. Just take it out — it’s small enough to sit anywhere — turn it on, load a sheet of paper, and start printing.

Matthew Stivala

HP OfficeJet 250 Mobile Printer

The HP OfficeJet 250 Mobile Printer is a great device that fits perfectly into my fast paced and mobile lifestyle. My first impression of the printer itself was how incredibly compact and sleek the device was.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?