On Monday, a number of Swedish government agencies, banks, and media outlets – including The Local – had their websites crippled by a Distributed Denial of Service (DDOS) attack.
During a DDOS attack, a website is bombarded with communication requests so that the servers become overloaded and the site crashes.
According to Anders Ahlqvist, an IT expert with the National Police Board (Rikspolisstyrelsen), the attacks are clearly connected to efforts by Sweden to extradite Assange from the UK to be questioned in an ongoing sex crimes investigation.
“As long as that continues, we’re probably going to see a lot of this,” he told the TT news agency.
Monday’s attack left the websites for Swedish banks SEB and Swedbank offline for extended periods around midday. Internet brokerage Nordnet was also affected.
Sweden’s main news agency, TT, was also taken offline by Monday’s attack.
The website of the Swedish Armed Forces (Försvarsmakten) was also hit.
According to Ahlqvist, police view Monday’s cyberattack as following a pattern recognized from other attacks in recent weeks.