Individuals associated with the Anonymous hacker collective have launched an attack on various Swedish government and banking websites in the name of The Pirate Bay and Wikileaks editor Julian Assange.
In a video (see top) posted to YouTube, organisers pledged to "launch major attacks on several vital portals that represent Swedish society" in the next few days.
The effort, jointly dubbed #OpPRQ and #OpPirateBay, will be "the biggest thing ever done in anonymous history," the video boasted. It requested the help of supporters, mostly likely to conduct distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks.
"Free Assange. Free internet. Expect us," the video concluded.
The Wall Street Journal reported that attacks took down the websites for the Swedish Security Service, the Swedish Prosecutors' Office, and Sweden's central bank. All but the Swedish Security Service appear to now be back online.
Recently, however, @AnonNCarolina2 tweeted that "We have found 0 conclusive evidence that #OpPirateBay #OpPRQ #OpSweden is a honeypot as of yet. Sail Safe, hit them hard."
Tango Down, Pirate Bay?
The Pirate Bay, meanwhile, has been down for several days.
"Just a minor problem somewhere in the line," the group said earlier this week on Facebook. The site was still down today, however; The Pirate Bay said it will likely be up by tomorrow.
Last month, Pirate Bay co-founder Gottfrid Swartholm Warg was deported from Cambodia and sent back to his native Sweden, where he faces copyright infringement penalties as well as hacking charges.
In April 2009, Warg and his Pirate Bay cohorts were found guilty of copyright infringement, sentenced to one year in prison, and hit with fines of about $32 million Swedish kroner (about £3 million). A year and a half later, a Swedish appeals court upheld the convictions of three of the men; Warg was left out of the proceeding due to illness. Earlier this year, Sweden's Supreme Court refused to hear an appeal from the founders.
In late August, Warg was arrested by Cambodian police, and days later it was revealed that he would be deported to Sweden.
Assange, meanwhile, has been fighting extradition to Sweden on sexual misconduct charges, fearing that the Scandinavian country would simply be a halfway house before ultimate deportation to the United States, where he could face treason charges and, by connection, the death penalty.
Assange has taken refuge at London's Ecuadorian embassy following the loss of his second UK extradition appeal in June. Ecuador has granted Assange asylum, but UK officials have vowed to arrest him the second he steps off embassy grounds.