17 May 2012

Information Commissioner Website Hacked in DDoS Hit

The website of the Information Commissioner's Office, the privacy watchdog, was taken down in a distributed denial of service attack allegedly by hacktivist group Anonymous, which accused the office of corruption. No important information was stolen, according to the office.

“We provide a public facing website which contains no sensitive information,” the watchdog’s representative said. “The website itself has not been damaged, but people have been unable to access it. We regret this disruption to our service and we are working to try to bring the website back online as soon as possible.”

A series of reports linked the DDoS attack with a group calling itself “Anon A Team” and apparently related to Anonymous. They allegedly targeted the Information Commissioner website because they thought it was corrupt.

“80% of Data Protection breaches crime in the UK are committed by the UK civil service and yet not properly investigated,” the alleged hackers said on a Tumblr page. “Information Commissioner has repeatedly failed to protect the public’s privacy from hacking or data protection breaches.”

The website hosts guidance for operators on how to comply with the law, and failure to do so could result in a fine of up to £500,000.