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Hackers hit Swedish Web sites in support of Assange

An unidentified group of hackers wages several denial-of-service attacks on Swedish government Web sites in a show of solidarity with the WikiLeaks founder.

Julian Assange speaks to the public from a window of the Ecuadorian embassy in London in August.
Charlie Osborne/CNET

A group of supporters of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange claimed responsibility today for hacking into and jamming several Swedish government Web sites, according to the Associated Press.

Initiating a denial-of-service attacks, the hacking group reportedly took down the Web sites of the Swedish government, armed forces, and the Swedish Institute for several hours.

According to the Associated Press, it isn't clear who was behind the attacks but an unidentified group announced responsibility on Twitter and told the Swedish government to take its "hands off Assange."

This is the second attack on government Web sites in Assange's honor in the last two weeks. The loosely knit hacktivist group Anonymous said it targeted several U.K. government Web sites for shutdown in solidarity with Assange last month. Anonymous dubbed the attack campaign as #OpFreeAssange on its Twitter feeds.

Assange is currently under asylum at Ecuador's Embassy in England where he is avoiding arrest by British authorities. Police remain in front of the embassy, ready to arrest him should he leave the building.

The WikiLeaks founder is fighting extradition to Sweden to face questioning over alleged sex crimes. Ultimately, he is trying to avoid extradition to Sweden out of fear he would then be extradited to the U.S. to face questioning over classified material published on WikiLeaks.