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Anonymous shuts down Swedish government sites in support of Assange

04 Sep 2012
Julian Assange

Anonymous has taken credit for a string of distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks on Swedish government wesbites.

Hackers connected to the group claimed the action was undertaken in support of Wikileaks founder Julian Assange. The Australian native faces extradition to Sweden where he is wanted for questioning in a sexual assault case involving two Wikileaks volunteers.

Operation Free Assange is being dubbed #OpFreeAssange across Twitter. The operation led to the temporary shut down of websites for the Swedish government, Swedish Armed Forces, and Swedish Institute.

Swedish officials have not said who was behind the attack. Head of digital media for the Swedish Armed Forces Niklas Englund simply told the AP that an unidentified group claimed responsibility for the attack by tweeting the words "Hands off Assange."

Anonymous, however, has come forward in the case through a series of tweets admitting to involvement in the take downs. The group has also claimed responsibility for attacks that lead to a temporary shut down in service for the Ministry of Defense website, according to Wikileaks.

DDoS attacks target websites by overloading servers with a deluge of data requests. Anonymous has continued to target those it believes are against Assange with these sorts of attacks since he took up residence in the Ecuadorian embassy in London.

Assange faces deportation to Sweden if he leaves the London embassy. Ecuadorian officials have granted the Wikileaks founder asylum in the South American country but UK authorities have vowed to arrest Assange when he leaves the embassy, asylum or not.

Backers of the Wikileaks founder recently lost £200,000 in bail money over Assange's decision to hide in the Ecuadorian embasssy.

According to the Telegraph, celebrities and academics showed support for Assange by posting his bail in 2010. However, the bond for bail was forfeited when Assange began the process of seeking asylum.

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James Dohnert
About

James is a freelance writer and editor. In addition to ClickZ, his work has appeared in publications like V3, The Commonwealth Club, CachedTech.com, and Shonen Jump magazine. He studied Journalism at Weber State University.

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