WikiLeaks Under Cyber Attack

Days after releasing a massive trove of U.S. diplomatic cables, ever-embattled WikiLeaks says it has come under serious cyber attack.

Apparently the site came under a massive distributed denial of service (DDOS) attack this morning, shutting down the site to users in the U.S. and Europe.

According to the AP:

The site, which distributed a trove of U.S. diplomatic documents on Sunday, said in a Twitter message on Tuesday morning that it was under a “distributed denial of service attack,” a method commonly used by hackers to slow down or bring down sites. WikiLeaks didn’t identify the attackers.

The site, which is devoted to releasing anonymously submitted documents, also came under attack Sunday, but Tuesday’s attack appeared to be more powerful.

Apparently the site — nomally hosted on Swedish company Banhof’s servers — is recovering using server space rented from Amazon.com.

What’s interesting here is the scale of the onslaught directed at WikiLeaks; 28 times greater than the average DDOS attack, according to the AP.

WikiLeaks said the malicious traffic was coming in at 10 gigabits per second on Tuesday, which would make it a relatively large effort. According to a study by Internet security company Arbor Networks, the average denial of service attack over the past year was 349 megabits per second, 28 times slower than the stream Wikileaks reported.

While fairly basic, could this DDOS hit be the first public example of the offensive operation by U.S. government cyber operators — a community that’s normally very coy about its offensive plans, techniques and capabilities?

  • Thunder350

    Well we know the US didn’t carry out the attack, atleast not the government. As our cyber abilities are worst then a 3rd world countries, mostly due to all these useless organizations (and politicians) arguing over who has what jurisdiction… and my personal favorite the old “what constitutes as a cyber attack” bs..

    • kim

      Maybe they hired Chinese hackers….

    • eu__

      how do we know the us didn’t do it? or the cia/ nsa (especially) at least, they (at least the nsa) have cyber/ computer warfare divisions for sure (SELinux originated from nsa for example).

  • AVG American

    I believe that WikiLeaks now represents a CLEAR AND PRESENT DANGER to the security of the United States and it’s allies – and therefore any and all measures should be undertaken immediately to eliminate the organization – it’s founder – and any and all sources associated with it. They are compromising our national security, plain and simple – and we are more than justified in taking them out completely, by any means necessary. And yes, I mean assasination. I wouldn’t even worry about being covert either. They should be considered as terrorists and be targeted for termination. They are serving the terrorists interests and undermining America’s national security and relationships with it’s allies and the world. They seem to have an open back door to our intelligence and secure communications that is being exploited by terrorist organizations – and therefore compromising our national security. I, as an American citizen, urge my government to take any steps necessary to eliminate this threat immediately and terminate all of those who are associated with this terrorist organization.

    • Colonel Compiler

      The average American: Offended by the unvarnished truth, and outraged not at those who actually leaked the data (a crime) but at those who published it (which is protected speech). Plus he thinks extra-judicial killings are somehow a good answer. Sweet, sweet stupidity.

    • Jacob

      You realize that even if we shut them down, another Wikileaks will just rise up in its place? Wikileaks doesn’t do anything besides publishing documents that were leaked by other people, and for someone to copy what they’re doing would be extremely easy.

    • crackedlenses

      He has the right to publish the docs. We have the right to treat him like dirt. Sounds all good to me…..

    • Sandy Patterson

      The provider of these leak’s is now being held in a Military Brig; as far as I know he is a
      GAY individual who was upset with his boyfriend, which caused him to undermine the
      security of the USA. This is an act of HIGH TREASON, and should be dealt with accordingly.

      Didn’t we execute a husband and wife in the early 50’s for this same thing???

    • BOY, you are a stupid and plainly pictured arse. I am not going to comment on the release of the data, but what happens to freedom of speech all because our stupid government decided to over react as usual. And yes as damning as these releases may seem, excluding the ones that violate opsec, should be seen by the American public…just to show what happens behind politicians doors, the poor decision making process, that eventually leads the country into a war that we did not need to be into too begin with. And lets not forget how we prop up puppet dictators that we eventually either kill or over throw funded by your tax payer dollars. So why is wikileaks bad? Because it tells the truth, or because it embarrasses the all mighty United States. Or is it because it exposes people who need to be put in a prison to rot.

  • Sam

    ABC News reported that a hacker called “The Jester” admitted to the attack. http://abcnews.go.com/US/patriotic-hacktivist-cla

  • William C.

    Good, now crank up the heat I say.

    • Colonel Compiler

      Yes, because wikileaks has committed what crime again? I’m sure you’d applaud the Chinese if they DDOS Amnesty International’s website, eh?

  • Okki

    In the past, leaking classified information during war time was considered a treason offence with resulted in the death penalty. As an average american I believe that we should hold up that military rule of law and as such, both providers and distributors of the classified information should be targeted under military oversight and accordingly processed. That means that anyone providing support to WIKILeaks should be considered a terrorist at the lowest and a traitor at the highest levels.

    When is society at large realizing that pussy-footing at the airport is not keeping us safe and neither is all this politically correct non-enforcement. Can we please grow our collective spines back please!?!? The enemy is not political correct. They do no care about your wife, mother, children, husband; so why would we care about their rights? If they have a US passport, revoke their citizenship. If they have a foreign passport; I don’t care what you do them them how; as long as it is a strong deterrent for any other individual with the wrong ideas.

    Okki

    Okki

  • Personally I find this sort of thing hilarious. Makes those damn politicians and diplomats have to cover their asses double quick. The earlier wikileaks crisis which leaked information directly related to current combat operations in Iraq and Afghanistan was crossing that blurry line into treasonous territory, but as long as wikileaks sticks to exposing the idiots in our government and in other government I say the more the merrier.

  • hooah

  • Engineer

    Hey Charles,

    I agree with AVG – waste ’em – if you know what I mean!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    • Toejamms

      We know what you mean: The rule of law means nothing to you, and you have excess testosterone and a simplistic desire to see the world in black and white. Anything else I’m missing?

  • Hamish

    wikileaks isn’t being hacked. Nor has wikileaks ever hacked anyone either. So you’re way off on your ‘ironic’ statement. Idiot.

  • Colonel Compiler

    They’re called laws, we in the West find them useful when confronting monarchical excesses like those you stupidly advocate. Are you a sheik or an ayatollah?

    • Thunder350

      Well you better call your local senator/congressman. Cause their trying to pass a law that allows the president to “kill the internet”. And it has a good bit of support behind it. Soon we will have censorship’s that surpass those of Australia. But not remotely close to China’s great fire wall. :)

    • William C.

      Freedom of speech doesn’t cover treason or acts of espionage. Regardless of how meaningless this latest batch of documents was, we need to correct this and send a message.

  • Hamish

    Freedom of speach.

    I thought the US was land of the free, home of the brave?

  • FtD

    I think it’s the endemic cultural problem in US that people need to kill others if they believe others done something wrong. So whilst you’re condemning Islamic world for stoning someone to death but wouldn’t take a look at your own mirror.

    I still yet to see Bush going to be tried for war crime as i’m waiting to see a piece of weapon of mass destruction @ Iraq…

  • Randy

    we sow what we reap. WikILeaks shouldn’t cry.

  • crackedlenses

    I find it ironic that someone didn’t like their publishing the docs enough to cyberpunch them…..

  • IknowaboutIT

    My feeling is that this is certainly the US Gov. This is child’s play for NSA. I think they should take care if this issue in a more old school and permanent way, but hey, crank up the DDOS.

  • I think we’re treating Mr. Assange in a very racially discriminatory way… a Taliban warrior that attemtps to interrupt US Intelligence operations is greeted with one or two well placed 5.56mm rounds… I believe Mr. Assange should receive the same treatment.

    Free speech and hindering operations against terrorist organizations and insane regimes are two different things.

  • Brian

    Aside from making our electing leaders look foolish and their policies wrong headed, none of the recent revelations appear to compromise national security. Everything that came out appear to be what happens when n00bs hit reality.

  • Simon

    4-10Gpbs is not that bad. Major attacks can be between 60-100Gbps. The person claiming to be launching this attack announced it on twitter – do a search for Jester or click here:

    http://twitter.com/th3j35t3r/status/8928679056900

    • William C.

      I like this Jester guy. A hacker with morals it seems.

  • UKGB

    Operatives should whisk Mr Assange away from the country he currently resides in to somewhere remote, for the rest of his life. Then deny all knowledge of any abduction. Problem solved. Do it properly and don’t bungle it up though please.

    • patriot

      He lives in Australia

  • Mufasa

    How wonderful, all of the comment-section ultranationalists are emerging from their proto-fascist cocoons! As soon as their wings are dry you’ll see them engaging in their first few tentative justifications of the summary executions. It won’t be long before they’re beating liberals in the street and calling for the invocation of the Espionage Act against antiwar protesters.

  • Oblat

    The freedom hates aren’t outraged that their government lied to them they are just outraged that they were told. I guess ignorance is bliss.

    But then I read the blog of the DDOS attacker – yea it’s one guy, a freedom hating nutter – and it is a sad read. He admits at several points that he has failed due to poor technical skills. There is something about hating freedom and being technically not up to scratch that seems to be pretty closely correlated.

  • Philo

    HA! j3st3r for the WIN(!)

    Nice the wikistinks was forced to migrate to servers in the US. Wonder how that changes issues of jurisdiction……

  • Hornet

    Anyone who believes the consitution protects information that compromises national security is a moron. Whether you like it or not, classified information, leaked to the public or obtained otherwise, is *not* covered by the 1st.

  • John

    Can we say Sticky Bomb :-)

  • eu__

    i fully support the wikileaks as long as they don’t provide any info that could be used to target a specific person involved with the released data (yes i know that it already happened but they are working to delete the names or have already done)
    the revelation of such confidential info (read: coverups) imo helps to keep the govts in check of their own actions or to at least think twice before doing something that could get swept under the carpet otherwise.
    and there are plenty examples of such behaviour. loosely written patriot act, recent beefed up airport security (link… http://www.calgaryherald.com/news/Gallery+Pat-dow… — i mean please… the terrorists have already won when people/ govt are scared like that) etc.

  • pedestrian

    Does this mean if American citizens would join the war and DDoS against this anti-America leftist sh*t, the US government will blind eye and we won’t get caught?

  • dat

    Still waiting for someone, anyone (yes YOU Internet tough guy!) to show me a death resulting from anything Wikileaks has published.
    http://blackagendareport.com/?q=content/why-wikil

  • lolly

    Seriously? They told us listeners on the radio this moring that if we wanted to bring the site down just go to it and hit refresh for 5 minutes. That radio station reaches three or more states.

  • biff

    with all of this new tech out there ud think someone who have the great idea of learning how to protect themselves from crap like this honestly its rediculous plus the fact of putting gov files like tht on the internet is one of the most retarded things ever its like telling the enemy where ur at and if they want to come over for a snack

  • IknowaboutIT

    “i fully support the wikileaks as long as they don’t provide any info that could be used to target a specific person involve”

    What an idiot you are, eu_, you could say the same if someone leaked the D-Day invasion plans.. General plan, not person specific…

  • longshadow

    This last round of leaks won’t have any effect on US Foreign policy. What it will do is have an effect on certain politician’s reputations. It’s time for some of these people to own up to their words and deeds.

    66% of US voters think the country is headed in the wrong direction. If you travel much, you’ll find that most any country you visit holds a similar view of our government. Maybe we should use this information to clean house instead of attacking Julian for risking (literally) everything to get this information in the people’s hands.

    Bottom line- Wikileaks has been publishing leaks for 4 years and nobody (U.S. Government included) has been able to point to a case where a leak resulted in somebody being harmed or killed. This is all just another smear campaign aimed at shutting down one of the only windows the public has into government and big business shenanigans.

    • William C.

      Indeed 2/3 of US voters do think the country is heading in the wrong direction. But they don’t want it heading in the far-left direction Assange so badly wants. A quick search will reveal his opinion of our soldiers serving overseas, that poor excuse for a man is rumored to be a pedophile among other things.

  • Charls

    How will you know when the enemy is inside your government and has infiltrated it? How? When was the last time Continental America(the real America where 99% of the people live) been attacked? 1812? How many non-defensive unnecessary wars have your government get you into? For how long will you support it? If the media starts a campaign supporting another war against another hellhole Asian of African country you never heard of will you blindly support it? Are you something more than a follower of the media and his media installed puppets invading the White House? How many more wars until you realized you are Jewish bitches doing their dirty work? Grow up some balls and kicked this AIPAC parasites out of the White House, your country is occuppied and is bleeding to death for Israelis War, your people kicked out of their houses for jewish bankers, organized through jewish Alan Greenspan and Ben Bernanke. Just look at a map, you are being used by Israel and now they want to create a police state to protect themselves now that people are realizing it. Kicked them out. You have a law so that the president has to be american-born. Is it that hard to have a law stating that only americans can be in top-positions? No dual-nationals that put Israel about America. It’s as easy as that, kicked them out of power and no more wars and crisis.

  • Patriot

    FtD and Ross are idiots and need to spend some time in Afghanistan before they laugh again or open their big mouths or start to learn to speak another language! The govern needs to crash WiKi leaks permanently and try these clowns who thinks our national security is something to play with. Time we stood tall again and got serious about saving our country from clueless liberals.

  • Chris

    @Charls: You blame the Jews for the problems in our country? Didn’t Hitler do the same thing?

    Go find another forum to vent your racist filth.

  • JJK

    I would be terribly disappointed if our Govt. (Mil. and Civ.) were not taking all steps necessary to eliminate Wikileaks capabilities to dispense their ill-gotten classified and sensitive information. This is truly a national security breech, their actions are seditious, and our kid gloves should come off, entirely! JJK

    • dat

      I’m not sure that word means what you think it means…

      Wikileaks is not a US based organization nor is Assange a US citizen… he’s Australian. Therefore I’m not sure he can be charged with sedition.

  • longshadow

    Patriot- Do you honestly think that ‘crashing Wikileaks’ will fix anything? Instead of posting the information on Wikileaks, the information will be posted on chat boards, ‘breaking news’ sites, and thousands of other public resources around the world. All it would take is a half dozen bullet proof bots. The concept is similar to the way that rootkits like Zeus communicate with their Command & Control servers.

    I would think that somebody coming back from Afghanistan would understand the concept of a distributed decentralized attack.

    This information is going to get out one way or the other. In the end, this anti-wikileaks campaign has always been about protecting reputations not national security.

  • longshadow

    JJK-
    Come on now.. You need to open your mind a little if you want to understand the problem. If your argument was fairly applied, every major news organization in the country would be guilty of the same ‘crime’.

    I don’t see you calling for the heads of the publishers for the The New York Times, Le Monde, Der Spiegel, or El Pais. They were all partners in this latest release but nobody’s told you to hate them so they go unnoticed..

    I could list a hundred examples of classified data being published by American media organizations. It happens every day. The only reason this is different is because it’s not controllable (Feds can’t threaten to withhold juicy inside information in the future) and it doesn’t include the usual spin that paints our officials in a good light.

    The government has known for almost a year now exactly what was taken from Manning’s computer. Anybody that’s ever done computer forensics knows how easy it is to mount a target machine (say with EnCase) and reconstruct a user’s activity. It’s even easier when you can marry those workstation results to the server analysis, the database logs, and the network logs.

  • msconfig

    It is foolish to see wikileaks as a terrorist organisation, or to see its actions as any sort of ‘attack’. Rather, wikileaks should be seen as an inevitable eventuality. If Assange didn’t step up, somebody else would have. If Assange is taken out, 10 more will replace him.

    Governments cannot continue to function in the way revealed by the leaks if they want to exist on the same planet as the internet. If any of the organisations or individuals affected by the leaks were genuinely suprised, it just goes to show how 20th century their mentalities are.

  • Maxtrue

    sorry for the bad cut and paste above….

  • The evil that men do……………..

  • Maxtrue

    That’s two replies longshadow, Defense Tech has yet to approve. Sorry if my answer to you doesn’t get posted…..

  • longshadow

    fair enough. Just trying to have a healthy debate.