Briefly: Hackers claim attack on Britain’s Home Office website
LONDON — Britain's Home Office confirmed Sunday that its website was attacked overnight after hackers claimed responsibility for shutting it down.
The alleged hackers - who claim ties to Anonymous, the hacker collective - said on Twitter they launched Saturday’s denial-of-service attacks and brought down the websites to protest “proposed draconian surveillance measures,” Britain’s extradition policies and “derogation of civil liberties.”
Denial-of-service attacks - which flood websites with too much traffic - are relatively easy to pull off and generally do no lasting damage.
Britain's Home Office said Sunday that its website “was the subject of an online protest” Saturday night, but noted that no sensitive information was held on it.
“There is no indication that the site was hacked and other Home Office systems were not affected,” the Home Office said in a statement. “Measures put in place to protect the website meant that members of the public were unable to access the site intermittently.”
It added that it will be monitoring the situation closely.
The Home Office and Justice Ministry websites were operating normally Sunday morning.
South Ossetia holds runoff presidential vote
Leonid Tibilov, who led the region’s KGB before falling out with the former local president, won more than 40 percent of the vote in the first round last month. Mr. Tibilov is expected to easily defeat his rival in the runoff, presidential human rights commissioner David Sanakoyev, who polled 25 percent in the first round.
South Ossetia depends entirely on subsidies from Russia, which recognized it as an independent state after the 2008 Russian-Georgian war and still has troops there. The ties with Moscow are expected to remain close no matter who becomes president of the province, which has a population of about 50,000.
Only a handful of other countries have followed Russia in recognizing South Ossetia’s independence, while a Georgian economic blockade and misappropriation of lavish Russian aid have left the regional economy in shambles with widespread poverty and massive unemployment.
Critics accused the government of former President Eduard Kokoity of embezzling Russian donations, while thousands of South Ossetians continue to live in half-destroyed houses and apartment buildings with irregular water and electricity supplies.