Hackers crash Swedish government web site

The Swedish government's web site was not working overnight, after a suspected attack by hackers.

The government’s head of information, Hanna Brogren, refused to speculate on whether the problem was related to the police’s raid on file sharing site The Pirate Bay. But according to Expressen, the next target for ‘internet pirates’ is the Swedish parliament’s web site.

During Wednesday’s raid on The Pirate Bay police confiscated around two hundred servers. Then on Thursday night, apparently in response, an attack from hackers overloaded the Swedish police’s web site leaving offline for almost a day. On Sunday morning the police site had crashed again.

The government’s web site was functioning again at around 8am on Sunday morning, but Hanna Brogren said that it was still unclear whether it was completely back to normal.

A group calling themselves ‘World Wide Hackers’ claimed responsibility for the attacks in a telephone call to the newspaper Aftonbladet on Saturday night.

Experts say that the attack on the government’s site followed the same pattern as that on the police. But officials are still not saying what forced the most important web site for the Swedish authorities out of action.

“No, we’re working on that now,” said Hanna Brogren.

“We have to go through the whole web site and we’ll be doing that during the day. We can’t speculate on whether there has been any sabotage.”

Throughout the day the government’s IT department is to work on preventing further attacks from crashing the site.

“Now we’re going through all the information we have on the web site to see what happened. I there are 45,000 pages, so that’s a lot to go through. We’ll find out where the problem is and improve things,” said Brogren.

The file sharing battle even reached the streets of Stockholm on Saturday, as hundreds of demonstrators with pirate flags gathered in Mynttorget, in the city’s Gamla Stan.

The protestors demanded that The Pirate Bay’s servers be given back and the investigation against the site’s operators closed. One of those under investigation by police, Fredrik Neij, delivered a challenge to the authorities:

“Give up your struggle with the internet. It’s a battle you’re never going to win,” he said.

At the demonstration, which was organised by Piratbyrån, The Pirate Party and the youth wings of the Greens the Left Party and the Liberals, many spoke out against the Swedish authorities’ recent raids.

The leader of the Liberals’ youth association, Fredrik Malm, pointed out that despite the massive police raid on The Pirate Bay, the site was already operating again. The cost of the action had been wasted, he said.

“The time when police and politicians could rein in technical progress has passed,” he said.

The chairman of the Young Left Party, Ida Gabrielsson, agreed.

“It’s important to demonstrate the injustice of this – using 50 police officers to hunt down three youngsters running a web site of links,” she told TT.