Government sites survive triple takedown attempt by Anonymous


Hacking group Anonymous failed to take several Government websites offline last weekend, despite subjecting them to a sustained Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attack.

At the start of the month, Anonymous used social networking site Twitter to announce plans to stage DDoS attacks against Government websites every Saturday night.

The group made good on this pledge last week by targeting the Home Office website, making inaccessible to users for several hours.

The Government line on this is that our services and systems were unharmed across all sites

Over the weekend, Anonymous appeared to have added the Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ) and Home Secretary Theresa May's website to its hit list.

According to a flurry of tweets sent out by the Anonymous Operations twitter account on Saturday night, all three targets were taken down, at least intermittently.

The group also called on followers to verify the status of the sites from their locations across the globe, with one claiming GCHQ had tried to evade attack by switching its site to a different IP address.

However, Rik Ferguson, director of security research and communications for EMEA at Trend Micro, said switching IP addresses would be insufficient protection against "even the most simplistic of DDoS."

"DDoS is defeated by bandwidth. You need to have more than your attacker and this can be accomplished in a number of ways," he told IT Pro.

"You can buy bigger pipes and build bigger server farms locally, you can block incoming requests based on geography [or you can] use the power of the Google, Amazon, IBM or Rackspace [to] hide behind someone else's bandwidth."

Caroline Donnelly is the news and analysis editor of IT Pro and its sister site Cloud Pro, and covers general news, as well as the storage, security, public sector, cloud and Microsoft beats. Caroline has been a member of the IT Pro/Cloud Pro team since March 2012, and has previously worked as a reporter at several B2B publications, including UK channel magazine CRN, and as features writer for local weekly newspaper, The Slough and Windsor Observer. She studied Medical Biochemistry at the University of Leicester and completed a Postgraduate Diploma in Magazine Journalism at PMA Training in 2006.