UK fears pro-WikiLeaks attacks on gov't websites

December 13, 2010 17:48

LONDON — Britain's national security adviser has warned that government websites are at risk of cyber attack from pro-WikiLeaks hackers, prime minister David Cameron's office said Monday.

Ministries have been told they could be targeted by online "hacktivists," following attacks on companies including MasterCard Inc., Visa Inc. and PayPal Inc., which cut ties to the WikiLeaks site.Cameron's office said security adviser Peter Ricketts has raised his concerns before an extradition hearing scheduled for Tuesday, when WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange will appear at a London court.

About 100 demonstrators gathered outside the British Embassy in Madrid on Saturday to protest Assange's detention. A judge denied him bail last week and he is being held in prison pending Tuesday's court hearing.

Cameron's spokesman Steve Field said the government's priority is websites dealing with information that belongs to members of the public. He said the government has particular concerns about websites used to file tax returns or to claim benefits, which store sensitive personal information.

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