UK crime agency website hacked

Thu, May 3, 2012, 01:00

The website of Britain’s Serious Organised Crime Agency (Soca) has been taken offline by a distributed denial of service attack by computer hackers.

The distributed denial of service (DDOS) attack - which involves web addresses being hit by a flood of visits - was carried out last night, a Soca spokesman said.

He said the incident did “not pose any security risk" to the organisation, which is often described as Britain's FBI.

DDOS attacks on the Soca website have previously been linked to the loose-knit international “hacktivists”  Anonymous, which has, along with other activist groups LulzSec and Antisec,  also been blamed for attacks against bodies including the US Senate, Sony and Visa.

“The action was taken to limit the impact of a DDOS attack on other clients hosted by our service provider,” the spokesman said. “Soca’s website contains only publicly available information and does not provide access to operational material.”

Soca said the attack was not of any operational threat.

“DDOS attacks cause temporary inconvenience to website visitors but they do not pose any security risk to the organisation,” the spokesman added. “Soca does not consider it to be a proportionate response, or a responsible use of taxpayers’ money, to maintain excessive bandwidth on the off-chance of a DDOS attack on a public-facing website.”