A distributed denial-of service (DDOS) attack has been launched against the site of the United Kingdom’s Serious Organised Crime Agency (SOCA), the BBC informs. As a result of the large number of packets being sent its way, the website has been down since last night.
The precise reasons for which the website was targeted are uncertain at this time, but judging by the past protests it could be for a number of things.
It may be related to the threats launched earlier today by hacktivists against UK’s Supreme Court for blocking The Pirate Bay. On the other hand it may be a form of protest against the UK government’s newly-proposed monitoring bill.
Another reason for which hackers would target a government agency is the recent extradition cases of UK citizens to the United States. Individuals such as Garry McKinnon, Richard O'Dwyer and Christopher Tappin may soon be sent to the US where authorities name them responsible for crimes such as hacking, copyright infringement and arms dealing.
SOCA has taken center stage recently after it revealed that in collaboration with the FBI it took down a number of 36 sites which were involved in payment card fraud.
F-Secure’s Chief Research Officer Mikko Hypponen believes that the attack may be related to the takedowns.
“The SOCA DDoS attack is probably related to the carder site takedowns last week,” he wrote on Twitter.
“The carding sites had their nameservers pointed to cirfu.net. ‘CIRFU"’stands for FBI's Cyber Initiative and Resource Fusion Unit. #SOCA #FBI,” he explained.
The expert’s theory may be correct, especially since Anonymous hacktivists, the ones that would normally launch such attacks, haven’t taken credit for the operation.