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WikiLeaks supporters stage attacks against Dutch websites

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WikiLeaks supporters stage attacks against Dutch websites

2010-12-10 23:26:24 GMT+7 (ICT)

AMSTERDAM (BNO NEWS) -- The websites of Dutch police and the country's prosecutor's office came under attack on Friday, likely in retaliation over the arrest of a 16-year-old Dutch teenager who was involved in the pro-WikiLeaks cyber attacks on Visa and MasterCard.

The website of the country's prosecutor's office, www.om.nl, went offline for several hours on Friday morning. A similar attack brought down the website of Dutch police, www.politie.nl.

"The site of the Prosecutor's Office was offline or difficult to reach for several hours this morning. This website contains only public information and no sensitive data," a statement from the office said.

The Prosecutor's Office said the High Tech Crime team of the National Police Services Agency is investigating the Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attacks. "This means that one or more computers are coordinating an attack, in which in this case the computers of supporters are being used," the statement explained.

DDoS attacks essentially flood websites with traffic in order to overload their servers, slowing them down and often knocking them offline completely due to the overwhelming numbers of requests.

On late Friday afternoon, the website of Dutch police was still having problems. "Due to a server error, no data can be displayed. The error will be corrected as soon as possible. Our apologies," a statement said on its website.

The prosecutor's office said it believes the attacks are related to the arrest of a 16-year-old Dutch teenager on Thursday, who has since confessed to being involved in the cyber attacks earlier this week against the websites of MasterCard and Visa.

The attacks were carried out within hours of each other and the perpetrators, who call themselves "Anonymous" and support the whistle-blowing organization WikiLeaks, used a large DDoS attack to knock down both websites.

Meanwhile on Friday, Dutch prosecutors announced that the detention of the 16-year-old teenager would be extended for another 13 days. It warned that the people behind Friday's attacks could also face criminal charges.

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-- © BNO News All rights reserved 2010-12-10

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