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Sweden Riksbank Website Shut Down by Suspected Hacker Attack

Oct. 5 (Bloomberg) -- The Swedish central bank’s website was probably attacked again by hackers who forced it to shut for a second day this week.

The site has been under intermittent disruptions since noon likely as a result of an “overload attack,” Fredrik Andersson, a Riksbank spokesman, said today by phone in Stockholm.

“We’re now trying to limit the effects of these attacks” because “we can probably not completely protect ourselves,” he said. “There are no direct connections between our external web and other IT-systems” such as RIX, the central hub of the Swedish financial infrastructure, he said.

The website stopped working on Oct. 3 after three rounds of suspected hacker assaults against a number of government websites. Sympathizers of Wikileaks founder Julian Assange are the most probable suspects in the distributed denial-of-service attacks intended to make a network resource unavailable to users, Swedish news agency TT reported.

Assange sought asylum in Ecuador’s embassy in London on June 19 after exhausting options in U.K. courts to avert extradition to Sweden, where he is wanted for questioning over allegations of rape and sexual molestation.

Hacker group Anonymous in an Oct. 3 YouTube video claimed responsibility for the attacks on “some Swedish government or affiliate sites” and threatened “the biggest thing ever done” today after police searched PRQ AB, an Internet server hosting company, on Oct. 1 to Oct. 3 as part of investigations into suspected copyright infringements.

Servers were seized at PRQ’s Solna premises, while no one at the company is suspected of a crime, according to the Swedish Prosecution Authority.

PRQ was started by Pirate Bay website co-founders Gottfrid Svartholm Warg and Fredrik Neij and hosts or has hosted a number of file sharing sites, including Pirate Bay and Wikileaks.

To contact the reporters on this story: Johan Carlstrom in Stockholm at jcarlstrom@bloomberg.net; Kim McLaughlin in Stockholm at kmclaughlin6@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Jonas Bergman in Stockholm at jbergman@bloomberg.net 1083Z SS <Equity>

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