The threat came after members of the group, thought to be part of the wider Anonymous hackers, claimed they were able to temporarily take down the National Crime Agency website. The account, with the Twitter handle @your_anon-net and nearly 16,000 followers, made the threat to the Government in a post. The tweet says: “Free Assange or chaos is coming for you! National Crime Agency #Offline.”
The post is accompanied by what appears to be a screenshot of the National Crime Agency’s (NCA’s) website being offline, along with the hashtags #Anonymous #FreeAssange #OpEcuador #OpAssange #OpUK #OpUS.
But the tweet received replies from a handful of followers, who posted their own screenshots to show the website is in fact working.
Anonymous replied to one, saying: “Sometimes is loading and sometimes it’s down.
“We are adding a little more power to bring it totally down.”
Julian Assange news: Anonymous have warned the UK Government (Image: GETTY / REUTERS)
The NCA told Express.co.uk the Government department experienced a DDoS attack at around midnight but it had minimal impact.
The attack may have limited or slowed down access to the website for a short period of time, but didn't take it down.
An NCA spokesman said: “DDoS is a blunt form of attack which takes volume and not skill. It isn't a security breach, and it doesn't affect our operational capability. At worst it is a temporary inconvenience to users of our website.”
In separate posts, the group also claims to have temporarily taken down the websites of the UK Supreme Court and Newcastle Airport.
These are again accompanied by apparent screenshots of the websites not working, along with the same warning to the Government: “Free Assange or chaos is coming for you.”
Last week, the wider Anonymous group with 1.56million followers, threatened to “unleash the force of the internet” on the Government unless it releases Mr Assange after his arrest at the Ecuadorian embassy in London last Thursday.