'WikiLeaks followers target Swedish govt' | world | Hindustan Times
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'WikiLeaks followers target Swedish govt'

world Updated: Dec 09, 2010 16:27 IST

Hackers forced the Swedish government's website offline for several hours on Thursday as cyber attacks in support of WikiLeaks and its founder Julian Assange gathered pace, a report said.

The Aftonbladet daily said that the government's official website, http://www.regeringen.se/, was offline for a few hours overnight to Thursday, publishing a screen shot which showed the server could not be reached. The site was working normally again later in the day.

Government spokeswoman Mari Ternbo said that the government did not comment security matters and could not confirm the cyber attack had taken place.

Assange, a 39-year-old Australian, is being detained in London pending a hearing on extradition to Sweden, where he is wanted for questioning over rape allegations.

Aftonbladet also reported that WikiLeaks supporters had created a website bearing Swedish justice minister Beatrice Ask's name which then redirected users to WikiLeaks own site.

The minister's spokesman, Martin Valfridsson, said that Ask had not previously used that domain name.

The targetting of the Swedish government comes after similar cyber attacks against the website of the Swedish prosecutor's office and the law firm representing the two women at the centre of the allegations against Assange.

The lawyer, Claes Borgstroem, said that he suspected the attack came from the same group that had attacked the prosecutor's website.

Hackers on Wednesday also attacked the websites of credit card giants Mastercard and Visa in revenge for their decisions to cut off funding to the whistleblower website.