Ecuadorian official says country hit by 40 million cyberattacks following Assange's arrest

Ecuadorian official says country hit by 40 million cyberattacks following Assange's arrest
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Ecuador said this week that it has been hit by more than 40 million cyberattacks since last week's arrest of WikiLeaks founder Julian AssangeJulian Paul AssangeHillicon Valley: Twitter falling short on pledge to verify primary candidates | Barr vows to make surveillance reforms after watchdog report | DHS cyber chief focused on 2020 Lawyer says Assange tried to warn White House, Clinton about dump of diplomatic cables The Hill's Morning Report - Can Sanders be stopped? MORE outside the country's embassy in London.

Ecuador's deputy minister for information and communication technologies told Agence France Presse (AFP) that the attacks primarily came from the U.S., several European countries, Brazil and Ecuador itself.

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Assange, who had been living in the Ecuadorian Embassy in London for years in self-imposed exile, was arrested last week after Ecuadorian officials allowed British police to enter the facility and arrest him.

He is currently in the process of extradition and had previously been charged under seal.

The Justice Department revealed on Thursday that Assange faces one count of conspiring with former Army intelligence analyst Chelsea ManningChelsea Elizabeth ManningHillicon Valley: Twitter falling short on pledge to verify primary candidates | Barr vows to make surveillance reforms after watchdog report | DHS cyber chief focused on 2020 Lawyer says Assange tried to warn White House, Clinton about dump of diplomatic cables US lawyer argues Assange put people's lives at risk MORE to “knowingly access a computer, without authorization and exceeding authorized access,” to obtain classified information that “could be used to the injury of the United States.”

The indictment alleges that Assange helped Manning crack a password stored on a Defense Department computer. The computer was connected to a U.S. government system and used to store confidential information.

Javier Jara, an official with Ecuador's telecommunications ministry, told AFP that the cyberattacks had come following "threats from those groups linked to Julian Assange."

Assange has denied any wrongdoing and has claimed that he acted like a journalist seeking to publish classified documents of public interest.