Dutch prosecutor's office under cyber attack

10th December 2010, Comments 0 comments

The Dutch prosecutor's office said Friday its website had come under a cyber attack which was "probably" linked to the arrest of a young supporter of whistleblower website WikiLeaks.

Police had "come to the conclusion that the site has become the victim of a denial-of-service attack", it said in a statement.

The office website was "difficult to access and for a short period of time was totally inaccessible" on Friday.

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."

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

The teenager has admitted to staging cyber attacks on opponents of WikiLeaks, such as Visa and Mastercard, the national prosecutor said Thursday.

A statement said he was "probably part of a larger group of hackers" and would appear before a judge later Friday in Rotterdam.

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

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.

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

The website of Dutch police was also difficult to access Friday morning, a police spokesman told AFP but could not say whether this was due to an attack or ordinary technical problems.

© 2010 AFP

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