Operation Trial at Home was initiated over the weekend, with Anonymous hackers and their supporters launching distributed denial-of-service (DDOS) attacks against the sites of the Home Office (homeoffice.gov.uk), the Ministry of Justice (justice.gov.uk) and the one of the United Kingdom’s Prime Minister (number10.gov.uk).
Starting with April 7, the hacktivists charged their “lazers” and pointed them towards the sites, taking them down for several hours.
In the past days, Twitter has been flooded with OpTrialAtHome tweets that list the reasons behind the attacks.
“Why TANGO DOWN the UK govt? Proposed draconian surveillance measures in combination with continued derogation of civil liberties,” read a post from YourAnonNews.
“#OpTrialAtHome is offered in protest of the potential extradition of Gary McKinnon, Christopher Harold Tappin & Richard O'Dwyer,” read another tweet.
The case of Richard O’Dwyer, the founder of TVShack, accused of hosting links to pirated content, is one of the things that sparked the protest. O’Dwyer’s extradition to the United States has been approved last month, the 23-year-old now facing a 5 year prison sentence.
The famous hacker Gary McKinnon may also have the same fate after, in 2001 and 2002, he breached several US military and NASA systems.
According to The Register, the Home Office confirmed the protest attacks, but the organization rushed to reassure everyone that only the public website was affected, all sensitive information being safe.
After the Home Office issued the statement, the Anonymous community celebrated the fact that their actions were seen as a protest.
“Home Office get credit for one thing - their spokesman has recognised that the #Anonymous DDoS is a form of ‘online protest’,” read a post from AnonUK.
Since these initial attacks don’t seem to have made an impact, similar ones are expected in the following period.