• Sweden edition
 
Swedish police link cyber attacks to Assange case

Swedish police link cyber attacks to Assange case

Published: 02 Oct 2012 07:21 GMT+02:00
Updated: 02 Oct 2012 07:21 GMT+02:00

On Monday, a number of Swedish government agencies, banks, and media outlets – including The Local – had their websites crippled by a Distributed Denial of Service (DDOS) attack.

During a DDOS attack, a website is bombarded with communication requests so that the servers become overloaded and the site crashes.

According to Anders Ahlqvist, an IT expert with the National Police Board (Rikspolisstyrelsen), the attacks are clearly connected to efforts by Sweden to extradite Assange from the UK to be questioned in an ongoing sex crimes investigation.

"As long as that continues, we're probably going to see a lot of this," he told the TT news agency.

Monday's attack left the websites for Swedish banks SEB and Swedbank offline for extended periods around midday. Internet brokerage Nordnet was also affected.

Sweden's main news agency, TT, was also taken offline by Monday's attack.

The website of the Swedish Armed Forces (Försvarsmakten) was also hit.

According to Ahlqvist, police view Monday's cyber attack as following a pattern recognized from other attacks in recent weeks.

"Our impression is that they are testing security and gathering information about how resistant systems are and how quickly they can get back online if the attacks manage to knock them off," he told TT.

Ahlqvist added that police believe sites in Sweden are becoming increasingly popular targets for internet attacks.

Anders Hansson, head of the Computer Security Incident Response Team with the Swedish Civil Contingencies Agency (Myndigheten för samhällsskydd och beredskap – MSB), agreed.

"They are becoming more and more common and they are hard to protect against," he told TT.

Hansson confirmed that his agency had also been targeted in Monday's cyber attack.

He explained that it's still rare to see so many companies and agencies targeted in a single attack.

MSB is now trying to learn from where the attacks originated, although determining the source of and motivation for DDOS attacks remains a challenge.

Ahlqvist agreed that it's nearly impossible to find out who lies behind attacks like the one that hit Sweden on Monday unless those responsible decide to come forward.

"The people that carry these out are technologically gifted," he said.

Meanwhile, police continue to gather as much information as they can. However, Ahlqvist emphasized that Swedish websites can likely expect more attacks as long as the Assange case remains unresolved.

"As the Assange case continues, we're going to see these [attacks] against Swedish targets. I'm totally convinced of it," he told TT.

TT/The Local/dl

Follow The Local on Twitter

Your comments about this article

07:59 October 2, 2012 by Reason abd Realism
Cyber attacks are the modern day version of minor acts of war, such as anarchists blowing up train tracks to disrupt governments.

Sweden has not deported Assange to the US, and has not said that it will do so.

Well and fine for Wikileaks supporters to pretend that nations are all terrorists, oppressing free people everywhere, but who are the terrorists now?
08:11 October 2, 2012 by timbenton51
@ #1

The terrorists - who actually kill people with bombs -- are still the terrorists. Hackers etc., who cause websites to crash are a nuissance, and possibly criminals, but they are not "terrorists".

Nice try.
09:16 October 2, 2012 by RobinHood
This eccentric, mismanaged and incompetent criminal investigation (it can not even be called a prosecution, Mr Assange is yet to be charged) has cost the British taxpayer one million Pounds in policing expenses alone. The bill rises by 11 000 Pounds per day. The hard-pressed British police and goverment are rather peeved with Sweden, to say the least.

Maybe it was them.
09:29 October 2, 2012 by byke
"Ahlqvist agreed that it's nearly impossible to find out who lies behind attacks like the one that hit Sweden on Monday unless those responsible decide to come forward."

Strange that with a case that shows no evidence and a statement of "Nearly impossible" - That the police have made such a brash statement in regards to "A clear connection".

If the Swedish police use such public statements which contradict the statement of "Nearly Impossible" and is used to smear a person without evidence, it really makes one question the value of law in Sweden and the professionalism of a system that uses the media to convict.
10:40 October 2, 2012 by procrustes
#5 YUK! Who saves condoms? Does she keep a little (or, in this case, maybe big) display case? I wonder if she plans on selling it on Blocket?
10:42 October 2, 2012 by vicarno
Soon more British public will start to question this waste of resources, and if the cyber attack continues, more Swedes will start shouting drop the case, drop the case. Well lets see how it plays out, but I dont see JA in Sweden any time soon.

Its very obvious the US wanted him through Sweden. Forget this rape, sex crime crap people...
18:05 October 2, 2012 by Tiny Red Ant
Actually, terrorism is the use of violence and intimidation in the pursuit of particular political aims or to force a government to do something. Terrorism is the act to instill fear in others through acts intended to cause damage to property, cause bodily harm or the lose of life.

A nuisance? DOS attacks is a cyber crime and illegal. These are act of are intended to intimidation. However, DOS attacks are sometime accompanied by other crimes.

One thing in a little perplexing. Past DOS attacks against Swedish sites have been claimed to be in support of Julian Assange.

The purpose of the hearing was to ensure that Assange got "due process," and gave Assange "due process." Assange was even given "due process" is Sweden

before he left, and when his lawyers challenged the arrest warrant in Swedish courts. There is no reason for the UK should not ensure that Assange is extradited to Sweden.
12:40 October 3, 2012 by BigLucky
@ Reason abd Realism, and Tiny Red Ant

Actually, a DDOS attack is more like a protest picket-line or a sit-in. All a DDOS is really doing is occupying all the available bandwidth, or blocking all the available access ports. I suppose to a politician or a banker, who can make or buy legislation outlawing everything they dislike or that is contrary to their interests, the knowledge that someone in the public might actually be able to reach out and affect your life of privilege might be terrifying, but the fact that someone was sheltered from the consequences of their misdeeds until the internet came along does not make all actions they dislike "terrorism."

@Byke, and Arbed

I caught the inconsistency as well. "We know who it was and why they did it!" "We can't ever know who did it unless they come forward." Followed by the inevitable: "we need tough new laws, total lack of privacy, and broad unsupervised surveillance powers!"
Today's headlines
Swedish teenagers abused on Secret app
File photo: Fredrik Sandberg/Scanpix

Swedish teenagers abused on Secret app

Swedish police are struggling to know what to do with a new batch of criminal reports filed by teenagers upset about a controversial app that allows users to post comments and pictures anonymously. READ  

National
Swedish man beats bus in video challenge

Swedish man beats bus in video challenge

UPDATED: A Swedish runner who filmed himself beating his bus in Sundbyberg in north west Stockholm over the weekend is now planning to a similar challenge on the capital's Metro system. READ  

Regional
Rain causes power cuts across east Sweden
Strong winds are battering Stockholm and the east coast of Sweden. Photo: TT

Rain causes power cuts across east Sweden

Heavy rain and wind have left thousands without electricity in eastern Sweden, with ferries also disrupted by the storm. READ  

National
Sweden's benefit agency website down
Sweden's Social Insurance Agency is experiencing problems. Photo: TT

Sweden's benefit agency website down

Sweden's Social Insurance Agency website was out of action on Monday, as officials promised that the technical fault would not delay benefit payments. READ  

Elections 2014
Budget headache for new coalition partners
Social Democrat economic spokesperson Magdalena Andersson with Per Bo from the Green Party. Photo: TT

Budget headache for new coalition partners

UPDATED: The Social Democrats have been holding talks with the Green party to try and agree on a future coalition budget. But questions remain over how they will work together on issues including defence and nuclear power. READ  

National
US runaway banned from name change in Sweden
'Wanted' photograph of David Hemler used by US Air Force Office of Special Investigations. Hemler lives and works in Uppsala. Photo: Shutterstock

US runaway banned from name change in Sweden

A US airman who deserted from the military three decades ago and moved to Sweden has failed in his bid to get his old name back, because a Swedish court says he can’t prove his identity. READ  

My Swedish Career
Plucked out of Canada for love and guitars
Sharleen in action. Photo: Sebastian Bularca

Plucked out of Canada for love and guitars

For this week's My Swedish Career we meet a Canadian who came to Sweden for love and now works in Lidköping, custom-making guitars. READ  

Regional
Flood and high wind warning in east Sweden
Stockholm experienced heavy rain on Sunday. Photo: TT

Flood and high wind warning in east Sweden

After heavy rain broke off the September sunshine in eastern Sweden on Sunday, forecasters warn more bad weather is on the way. READ  

Tech
World car record on Malmö bridge

World car record on Malmö bridge

The longest electric car parade on a bridge between two countries was formed on the Öresund Bridge between Sweden and Denmark on Sunday, with environmental campaigners breaking several other world records in the process. READ  

National
Two hurt in Helsingborg ferry crash
The damaged ferry is being inspected on Monday. Photo: TT

Two hurt in Helsingborg ferry crash

UPDATED: A ferry crashed into a pier in the port of Helsingborg in southern Sweden on Sunday night, with two people taken to hospital following the collision. READ  

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
Finest
Gallery
People-watching: September 20th
The 'black gold' of Sweden's west coast.
National
West Sweden prepares for the 2014 lobster premiere
Society
What's on in Sweden
Politics
How Sweden Democrats went mainstream
Politics
Scandinavia and Scotland: closer links?
Blog updates

22 September

Welcome National Geographic! (Stockholm in my American Heart) »

"What comes to mind when you think of the “The Arctic”? Crystal-encased cliffs jutting from the sea, baronial Polar bears scavenging over sheets of cracked ice or a lone explorer heading north into the night. The image my mind invokes is of three sparkling green lines splashed across the sky like graffiti— the Aurora Borealis— our..." READ »

 

19 September

Editor’s blog (The Local Sweden) »

"Happy Friday readers! It sure has been a exciting week in Sweden, where we’re set to get a new Prime Minister after Fredrik Reinfeldt stepped down following Sunday’s elections. The Local blogged live from the key political gatherings across Stockholm. Why not re-visit the action by taking a look at our photos, tweets, videos and analysis? Since the..." READ »

 
 
 
Gallery
Property of the week - Eskilstuna
Sponsored Article
How to start a business in Stockholm
Society
How I became a surf blogger when I moved to Sweden
Gallery
People-watching: September 13th
Society
Why is Stockholm's Södermalm so cool?
Gallery
People-watching: September 11th
Gallery
People-watching: September 13th
Politics
Five possible election outcomes
Politics
Sweden elections: How do they work?
Politics
Sweden elections: Who's who?
Gallery
Property of the week - Hornstull, Stockholm
Analysis
Five differences between the UK and Sweden
Welshman Jonny Luck is now a chef in Sweden
Society
How I opened my own restaurant in Sweden's Malmö
Sponsored Article
Stockholm tech fest: relive the magic
Gallery
People-watching September 8th
Photo: TT
Politics
Feminists fight for first seats
Politics
Immigration cut push from Sweden Democrats
Sheryl Sandberg says women have "low expectations"
Tech
Facebook exec talks women's limits in Swedish business
Politics
Left Party calls for justice and equality
Politics
Green Party wants 'better world' for kids
Sponsored Article
Introducing… Insurance in Stockholm
Sponsored Article
Graduates: Insure your income in Sweden with AEA
Latest news from The Local in Austria

More news from Austria at thelocal.at

Latest news from The Local in Switzerland

More news from Switzerland at thelocal.ch

Latest news from The Local in Germany

More news from Germany at thelocal.de

Latest news from The Local in Denmark

More news from Denmark at thelocal.dk

Latest news from The Local in Spain

More news from Spain at thelocal.es

Latest news from The Local in France

More news from France at thelocal.fr

Latest news from The Local in Italy

More news from Italy at thelocal.it

Latest news from The Local in Norway

More news from Norway at thelocal.no

849
jobs available
Swedish Down Town Consulting & Productions
Swedish Down Town Consulting & Productions is an innovative business company which provides valuable assistance with the Swedish Authorities, Swedish language practice and general communications. Call 073-100 47 81 or visit:
www.swedishdowntown.com
PSD Media
PSD Media is marketing company that offers innovative solutions for online retailers. We provide modern solutions that help increase traffic and raise conversion. Visit our site at:
http://psdmedia.se
If you want to drink, that’s your business.
If you want to stop, we can help.

Learn more about English-language Alcoholics Anonymous in Sweden. No dues. No fees. Confidentiality assured.
AA-EUROPE.ORG/SWEDEN