UK fears pro-WikiLeaks attacks on gov't websites

Dec 13, 2010
Supporters of WikiLeaks founder, Julian Assange, hold posters with his photo during a protest in front of the British Embassy in Madrid, Spain, Saturday, Dec. 11, 2010. WikiLeaks has been under intense pressure since it began publishing thousands of secret U.S. diplomatic cables, who is now in a British jail fighting extradition to Sweden on alleged sex crime charges.(AP Photo )

(AP) -- Britain says government websites are at risk of cyber attack from pro-WikiLeaks hackers.

Prime Minister David Cameron's office said Monday that national security adviser Peter Ricketts has warned departments they could be targeted by online "hacktivists."

It follows attacks on companies including MasterCard and , which have cut ties to the WikiLeaks site.

WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange is scheduled to appear at a British court on Tuesday for an extradition hearing. He is wanted in Sweden on sex crime allegations.

Authorities fear the hearing could prompt attacks on British websites.

Cameron's office said it is concerned about government websites used to file tax returns or to claim benefits, which store sensitive personal information.

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