Anonymous Attacks Sweden For Taking Away Free Music
Michael Harper for redOrbit.com – Your Universe Online
The group of “Hacktivists” known as Anonymous is taking credit for a series of attacks, leaving the websites for the Swedish government and their central bank down on Friday.
According to The Local, a Swedish news site in English, a member of Anonymous sent out a video on Tuesday warning about future attacks.
The cybercriminals took over the nation’s health boards later that night, displaying the group’s mantra anytime someone tried to access the boards: “We are Anonymous. We are Legion. We do not forgive. We do not forget. Expect us,”
The message closed with an expletive, saying, “F*ck Swedish.”
Swedish websites have been under attack all week at the hand of these hacktivists, leaving several sites down on Monday, Sweden’s Court Administration website down on Wednesday, and several more today.
“We’re looking into it. There’s definitely a disturbance but have no details yet about what’s lying behind this,” said Håkan Sonesson, a Court’s Administration spokesperson, speaking to The Local.
The video threat was posted on YouTube on Tuesday, showing a masked criminal who issued the warning: “Swedish government; you know our capabilities and what we want! The choice is yours.”
Anonymous used DDoS attacks against websites earlier this week, bombarding them with an overwhelming amount of requests. Underneath such an attack, the servers powering the website become paralyzed before it finally gives up, causing the site to crash.
Speaking to Reuters, Fredrik Andersson, a spokesman for the central bank said their website was also the target of such a DDoS attack.
“Our IT people are working to solve the problem. The attack is on the external website of the bank, none of the bank’s other functions are affected.”
The website for Sweden’s parliament is also down today as a result of these attacks, with only a notice that the site is undergoing some difficulties.
According to the online group 4Chan, these hackers are targeting the Swedish government for raiding an Internet service provider in an attempt to shut down a file sharing service. PeriQ Networks hosts such file sharing services and was established by the same Swedish hackers who began Pirate Bay, a once popular file sharing site.
A picture had been posted at 4Chan which implored hackers to attack the Swedish government, though it did not say which sites should be attacked.
Tuesday’s video threat also makes mention of these raids, as the masked hacker said: “We see [the raid] as a crime against freedom of information and therefore we have disabled some of the Swedish governments or affiliate sites in protest.”
Head of Sweden’s Computer Security Incident Response Team, Anders Hansson, said these are the worst rash of attacks he’s seen against his country. Though these attacks are very serious, Hansson says the public isn’t in any danger.
“Right now, we are only seeing attacks on Web pages,” said Hansson, according to the Wall Street Journal.
“Of course, this hinders communication, but it doesn’t prevent the affected organizations from doing their jobs. We would probably take a different view on these incidents if we started to see attacks on critical infrastructure, such as electricity and water supply.”