UK Organized Crime Agency Hit by Cyber Attack

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The Web site for the UK's Serious Organized Crime Agency (SOCA) was recently taken offline following a DDoS attack.

"The organization, which recently shut down 36 web sites that it said were trading in stolen credit card information, announced that taking the web site offline was a proactive measure after it noticed a number of distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks," writes The Inquirer's Lee Bell. "'SOCA elected to take its website temporarily offline at approximately 10pm last night. The action was taken to limit the impact of a distributed denial of service attack on other clients hosted by our service provider,' a spokesperson said."

"The SOCA has been the target of DDoS attacks before: In June 2011, British police arrested Ryan Cleary, a teenage member of the LulzSec hacktivist group, in connection with cyberattacks against the SOCA," notes SecurityNewsDaily's Matt Liebowitz. "More recently, Anonymous has been carrying out weekly website takedowns of U.K. government sites, including the Home Office and the Ministry of Justice."

"Security expert Rik Ferguson, from Trend Micro, said that while DDoS attacks could be prevented for many sites, including Soca, the cost may not be justified," BBC News reports. "'Is it worth the expense of large-scale DDoS mitigation technologies? Probably not,' he said. 'Does it harm the Soca brand to be seen to do nothing or very little to stop these attacks from happening? Again, probably not -- Soca are treating the attacks with the contempt they deserve.'"