Toronto, Ottawa police, SC Web sites shut down after attack

The Toronto Police Service’s Web site was down Sunday following a series of denial of service attacks that hit the service as well as the Web sites for the City of Ottawa, the Ottawa police and the Supreme Court of Canada over the weekend.

Someone with the Twitter handle @AerithTOR, who is believed to be located in Turkey , has claimed responsibility for the attacks. @AerithTOR claimed to be connected with the hacktivist group Anonymous, but this could not be confirmed. The person’s account has since been suspended by Twitter.

Meanwhile, the Ottawa police said their system “remains secure,” although visitors to the service’s Web site early Monday were greeted with the message “This Web page is not available.” The Web sites for the City of Ottawa and the Supreme Court are operational.

Last Friday, visitors to the site were greeted by the image of a dancing banana and a text message directed against a police officer in the force. The online message also said the attacker was connected with Anonymous.

The officer was involved in the investigation of a teenager in the city who is alleged to have been sending bogus emergency calls to police departments across North America. This practice is called “swatting” as the calls often prompt the police to send out SWAT teams.

The teen, who is 16-years-old, is facing 60 criminal charges related to at least 30 fake emergencies. The boy’s father had earlier told the media that his son in being framed for the incidents.

Distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks are estimated to cost organizations as much as US$40,000 an hour, according to a recent report by Incapsula Inc., a Calif-based company.

Incapsula said most DDoS attacks typically last less than a day. However, the average damage to victims is approximately costs $500,000 although targets also suffer none-financial consequences.

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Nestor E. Arellano
Nestor E. Arellano
Toronto-based journalist specializing in technology and business news. Blogs and tweets on the latest tech trends and gadgets.

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