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Wikileaks Under Attack

Wikileaks is down , not even responding to pings, and getting hosed by a massive distributed denial of service attack according to their Twitter account. They had been slated to begin unveiling an enormous batch of potentially politically incendiary classified documents today, a thorn in the sides of various governments, the US and Russia in particular.

A DDoS attack is what you call multiple computers flooding a target with garbage to the point that it either saturates the bandwidth of the victim or it overwhelms the victim’s server (or servers in this case) to the point that it is unusable (kind of like AT&T), or both.

Because a big bunch of people are itching to dive onto their site the minute they twitter about a new leak, which in this case consists of a quarter millions of documents, seven times to volume of the Iraq leak with the whole world watching and they hadn’t put the data up yet, if this is in fact a distributed attack, it would have to have been coordinated with extraordinary determination, coordination and resources. The kind governments may have – so perhaps it’s a big conspiracy.

Or it’s 4chan having some fun. Or the attack is minor but Wikileaks is exaggerating the situation or making it up entirely, or perhaps they’re simply mistaking a a major traffic surge, one to be expected given the news and anticipation of the whistle they’re about to blow, for a DDoS attack  Or they for whatever reason, intentional or otherwise, failed to prepare for today’s traffic and are capitalizing on the situation.

From the Guardian:

It is, without a doubt, the biggest leak of secret diplomatic missives in the history of international relations – a total of 251,287 cables from more than 250 US embassies and consulates around the world, many of them frank, a number of them shocking and all of them previously secret.

What do you think, is at least one government behind this? This is not a handful of kids banging F5 while on their website (though that would probably work on us), this is big. As for the impending leak, not to worry, a subsequent tweet: “El Pais, Le Monde, Speigel, Guardian & NYT will publish many US embassy cables tonight, even if WikiLeaks goes down.”

Doug Simmons