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updated 5/3/2012 12:19:49 PM ET 2012-05-03T16:19:49

The website of Britain's Serious Organized Crime Agency (SOCA) is currently down, the result of a denial-of-service cyberattack levied against the law enforcement organization at 10:30 p.m. local time last night (May 2).

A SOCA spokesman told BBC News  the attack was "a temporary inconvenience to website visitors," but posed no security risk. The site, soca.gov.uk, contains only publicly available information, SOCA said, and does not host any sensitive "operational material."

At 11:00 a.m. EST, the SOCA's website was still down. In a Twitter post, Mikko Hypponen, chief research officer for F-Secure, pointed to a Netcraft traffic analysis site that showed the denial-of-service attack is still under way against the SOCA.

The SOCA did not say if it knew who was behind the website-flooding attack; it's possible it's related to last week's sting spearheaded by the SOCA that shut down 36 credit card-selling sites.

Although it made no claims of responsibility, in a Twitter post from 5:50 a.m., Anonymous wrote, "TANGO DOWN: DDoS attack takes down site of UK Serious Organised Crime Agency (SOCA)," with a link to the BBC News story.

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. More recently, Anonymous has been carrying out weekly website takedowns of U.K. government sites, including the Home Office and the Ministry of Justice.

© 2012 SecurityNewsDaily. All rights reserved

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