Dutch prosecutor's office, police under cyber attack

10th December 2010, Comments 0 comments

The websites of the Dutch prosecutor's office and police came under cyber attacks Friday, "probably" linked to the arrest of a supporter of whistleblower website WikiLeaks, officials said.

The 16-year-old supporter who has admitted to staging attacks on opponents of WikiLeaks, such as Visa and Mastercard, was remanded in custody following his arrest overnight Wednesday in The Hague, police said.

Believed to be part of a larger group of hackers, he was questioned by a judge in Rotterdam on Friday.

"The two sites have become victims of denial-of-service attacks, police spokesman Rom Looije told AFP. Both sites were "only difficult to access or not at all" early Friday.

The public prosecutor's office said the attack on its website was "probably linked to the arrest of a 16-year-old boy" but added that its website did not contain any sensitive information.

An AFP journalist noted that an anonymous group claimed the attack under its user name AnonTarget in a Twitter message "in reaction to the arrest of a 16-year-old activist".

Hackers -- dubbed "hack-tivists" -- stepped up cyber attacks on those they perceived as opponents of WikiLeaks, including companies who in recent days have deprived the organisation of their services.

The attacks came after the arrest of WikiLeaks boss Julian Assange, currently in a British jail as Sweden seeks his extradition on rape charges.

"Police widened the investigation to include this morning's denial-of-service attacks by WikiLeaks supporters against the websites of the public prosecutor's office and the police," prosecutors said.

WikiLeaks has distanced itself from the cyber attacks but said it was a reflection of public opinion.

© 2010 AFP

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