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Botnet army flicks 'off' switch at UK crime agency website

Suspiciously close to Soca's shutdown of stolen-data shops

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The UK's Serious Organised Crime Agency's website has been taken offline following a DDoS attack that started last night and is still going on.

SOCA decided to take the site down itself around 10pm last night to stop the distributed denial of service attack from bothering other connected websites.

"We took the site off temporarily to limit the impact of the DDoS on other clients who are hosted by the same service provider," a spokesperson told The Reg.

The botnet army has succeeded in getting the site offline, but not a whole lot else.

"Frankly, DDoS are a temporary inconvenience to website visitors but they're not a security risk to the organisation," the spokesperson said.

"The information available on the SOCA site is only publically available information; it doesn't provide access to intelligence or operational material," the spokesperson added.

SOCA was recently involved in a multinational operation to take down 36 websites that were being used by criminals to sell reams of stolen credit card and bank account data. But the agency wouldn't say if it knew anything about who was behind the DDoS attack.

"Nobody has claimed responsibility for it," the spokesperson said. "The timing is interestingly close together so it could be a logical assumption, but we're not aware of somebody specifically claiming it to be so."

SOCA has already had to take down its website before because of a DDoS attack, when hacktivist group Lulzsec sent out its botnet army in June 2011. ®

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

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