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Wikileaks Cyberattack

Wikileaks Cyberattack - In the first test of WikiLeaks’ resiliency since a staff rebellion earlier this year, the organization recovered within hours from a distributed denial of service attack during its roll-out of leaked State Department cables on Sunday. But experts who monitored the disruptive traffic say the attack was relatively modest in size.

WikiLeaks’ main web address and its “cable gate” site were unreachable as the organization’s media partners published their first analyses from a massive trove of a quarter-million U.S. diplomatic cables Sunday afternoon. Hours earlier, WikiLeaks wrote on Twitter: “We are currently under a mass distributed denial of service attack.”

But Arbor Networks, which analyzes malicious network traffic crossing the internet’s backbones, reports that the DDoS generated between 2 and 4 Gbps of disruptive traffic, slightly above the average for all DDoS attacks, but well below the peak 60 to 100 Gps consumed by truly massive attacks against other websites over the last year.

“The traffic that we’re looking at going to the network where WikiLeaks was hosted at the time the attack started is 12 to 15 gigs per second, so 2 to 4 gigs on top of that is not much,” says Jose Nazario, a senior security researcher at Arbor.

The DDoS tested WikiLeaks’ mettle in the wake of a staff rebellion earlier this year that cost the organization a key technical volunteer responsible for its complex bulletproof back-end. The volunteer had set up a censorship-resistant system that decoupled WikiLeaks’ document archives from its public internet IP addresses, allowing the site to jump back to life within an hour of losing its hosting.

When that volunteer resigned in September, along with spokesman Daniel Domscheit-Berg and other staffers, WikiLeaks’ founder Julian Assange was given two weeks to “prepare an alternative setup,” the volunteer said in an interview last month. After that, “we pulled off all the technology developed for WikiLeaks and handed the remaining people the machines. We only took with us that which was developed by us.”

Wikileaks Cyberattack


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