Julian Assange arrest caused ‘heavy number of CYBERATTACKS’ says Ecuador
Mr Assange’s asylum ended last week after more seven years in the country’s London embassy. According to Ecuador’s deputy minister for information, communication and technologies, Patricio Real, government institutions saw 40 million cyberattacks following the end of Mr Assange’s asylum with the country. Mr Real did not link any particular group to the attacks but listed off several countries including the UK, US, Germany and France.
In a statement, Mr Real said: “During the afternoon of April 11 we jumped from 51st place to 31st place worldwide in terms of the volume of cyberattacks.”
Although he did not state who the attackers were, he announced that hacking group Anonymous had made a threat to the country.
The Ecuadorian government confirmed that the foreign ministry, central bank and president’s office had been targeted although no material had been ceased.
The cyberattack on the South American country comes as president Lenin Moreno accused Mr Assange of interfering in the “processes of other states” and “spying”.
Following Mr Assange’s arrest, the Ecuadorian president said: “We cannot allow our house, the house that opened its doors, to become a centre for spying.
“This activity violates asylum conditions. Our decision is not arbitrary but is based on international law.”
Mr Moreno also added that the WikiLeaks co-founder had “violated, repeatedly, clear-cut provisions” of diplomatic asylum conventions.
Since 2010, Mr Assange has been under investigation by US authorities following the release of secret documents.
The Australian national took refuge in the embassy in 2012 to avoid extradition to Sweden due to a sexual assault investigation, which has since been dropped and which Mr Assange denies.
The documents released by Mr Assange in 2010 referred to Afghanistan and Iraq war logs.
Following his arrest last week, US prosecutors announced charges against Assange for allegedly conspiring with former Army intelligence analyst Chelsea Manning.
They linked the pair to an attempt to gain access to a government computer as part of one of the largest compromises of classified information in US history.
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