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Ecuador suffers surge in cyber attacks after Assange arrest

The Ecuadorian government has suffered a barrage of cyberattacks after handing Wikileaks founder Julian Assange to the Metropolitan Police last week.

Speaking to reporters in Ecuador’s capital, Quito, on Monday, telecoms vice minister Patricio Real said the number of attacks on government institutions had more than doubled in the days following the arrest.

“During the afternoon of April 11 we jumped from 51st place to 31st place worldwide in terms of the volume of cyberattacks,” Real said. Around 40 million attacks have taken place each day.

The minister said it would be difficult to establish who had carried out the attack, but that Anonymous had issued a threat. The incident, which did not lead to a data breach, prevented some citizens from logging into government sites, indicating it may have been a series of distributed denial of service attacks.

Assange was initially arrested by British police for skipping bail. He has subsequently been charged by US prosecutors for conspiring to gain access to a government computer.