21/08/2012 12:11 BST | Updated 21/08/2012 12:19 BST

Anonymous Hackers Attack Government Websites To Show Support For WikiLeaks' Julian Assange

A hacking group called Anonymous launched a series of attacks on government websites on Monday night in revenge for the country attempting to extradite WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange to Sweden.

Assange is wanted by the Scandinavian country for questioning over sexual assault allegations, but he has holed himself up in the Ecuadorian Embassy to evade capture by the British police.

Anonymous, whose members often appear in public wearing Guy Fawkes masks, has been an outspoken supporter of Assange and on Monday night showed its anger at the Coalition by attacking the websites of the Ministry of Justice, 10 Downing Street, the Home Office and the Department of Work and Pensions.

It announced the attacks over Twitter using the hashtag #OpFreeAssange and declaring that and were ‘tangoDown’.

The group attempted to disrupt the websites by launching denial of service attacks, which overload sites by filing thousands of requests a second.

A statement on the Anonymous website explained its stance.

It read: “We will not abandon Julian Assange nor will we abandon the cause of WikiLeaks. Telling the truth is not a crime. Whistleblowers and hacktivists are not criminals.

“In the words of Julian Assange, "There is unity in the oppression. There must be absolute unity and determination in the response. Hide the truth from us, demonize us and prosecute us but expect us.”

Meanwhile, one tweet defiantly stated that Sweden and the UK governments should "expect to suck more cocks".

A Downing Street spokesperson told The Huffington Post UK, however, that the attack had not been successful.

She said: "We’ve looked at our records and found no evidence of a successful attack. We are denying a denial of service attack. Anonymous would normally do a screen grab or provide evidence of a successful attack."

When asked about the 'tangodown' claim tweeted by Anoymous, she replied: "We don’t recognise that claim."

However, the Ministry of Justice did experience some disruption.

A spokesperson for the Ministry of Justice told Sky news: "The Ministry of Justice website has been experiencing some disruption - this is a public information website and no sensitive data is held on it.

"Measures put in place to keep the website running mean that some visitors may be unable to access the site intermittently.”

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