London: Hackers have reportedly attacked the website of the British Home Office, shutting it down for at least one hour on Saturday night. The attack, which hacking group Anonymous had pledged to carry out days before on Wednesday, left the website offline with a message reading, "Due to a high volume of traffic this page is currently unavailable."
Anonymous hacked the website in an apparent protest against extraditions of British citizens to the US and "draconian surveillance proposals" by the British government, media reports said.
The hacking group appeared to be angry at extradition proceedings against 46-year-old UK citizen Gary McKinnon, who is accused of hacking US military computers.
Other posts about "draconian surveillance proposals" suggested the hackers were also angry about recent government draft proposals that would potentially allow security services to monitor every email, phone call and website visit to see who people were contacting and what sites they're looking at.
On Twitter, messages purporting to be from the hacking group, were posted under the name AnonOpUK, saying, "Anonymous is famous. UK Home Office. Maybe you should start to listen to the people." Another message, apparently urging the hackers to continue the attack said: "Keep firing!"
A Home Office spokesman told 'The Daily Telegraph', "We are aware of some reports that the Home Office website may be the subject of an online protest. We have put all potential measures in place and will be monitoring the situation very closely."