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Swedish raid prompts new cyber attack threat

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Swedish raid prompts new cyber attack threat
12:29 CEST+02:00
Sweden should prepare for further cyber attacks in retaliation for Monday's raid against web hosting company PRQ – previous hosts to The Pirate Bay and whistle-blowing site WikiLeaks – hacktivist network Anonymous has warned.

Swedish police raided the Stockholm offices of PRQ on Monday afternoon, the same day that a cyber attack paralyzed the websites of several Swedish government agencies, businesses, and media outlets.

While it remains unclear who may have been behind Monday's attack, hacktivist network Anonymous, which has claimed responsibility for previous cyber attacks targeting Sweden, on Tuesday posted a video on YouTube in which it vows to exact revenge on the Swedish government in response to the raid.

"The raid on PRQ disabled many of our torrent sites. We see this as a crime against freedom to information," says a masked spokesperson in a video posted on YouTube by a user claiming ties to Anonymous.

"Swedish government; you know our capabilities and what we want! The choice is yours."

While Anders Ahlqvist, an IT crimes expert with the Swedish police, claimed Monday's attack was likely probably related to Sweden's attempts to have WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange extradited from the UK, Marcin de Kaminski, an internet researcher and founder of the now disbanded Pirate Bureau (Piratbyrån), an organization established to support people opposed to current ideas about intellectual property, disputed the theory:

"No one has claimed responsibility for yesterday's attacks and that's a little strange. Therefore I think it's a little frustrating when Ahlqvist says there are clear ties to Assange," de Kaminski told TT.

The raid against PRQ has been a hot topic of discussion on online forums and social media outlets with ties to various net activist communities.

The web hosting company was created by Pirate Bay co-founders Fredrik Neij and Gottfrid Svartholm Warg, and when The Pirate Bay went offline on Monday, many net activists and members of filesharing communities assumed it was related to the raid.

However, according to The Pirate Bay's Facebook page, the outage was due to a power failure.

It remains unclear whether or not The Pirate Bay has any remaining ties to PRQ.

However, a source told the TT news agency that the police raid wasn't directed at The Pirate Bay, but instead against tankafetast.se, a lesser-known filesharing site.

Regardless of the aim of Monday's raid, the video posted on Tuesday by Anonymous threatens future cyber attacks against targets in Sweden, listing a number of government websites, including the police, the courts, the Armed Forces, parliament, and the Swedish Institute, among others.

"We do not forgive. We do not forget. You should have expect[ed] us Sweden!," says the masked presenter in the video.

As of Tuesday morning, police remained at PRQ's offices and the web hosts network remained down.

However, owner Mikael Viborg was still uncertain as to what exactly police were looking for.

"They haven't told me what sites it's about. We've only received the IP-addresses and before our network is up, we can't trace them," he told the TT news agency, adding that he hoped the network would be up and running by Tuesday afternoon.

TT/The Local/dl

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