Wikileaks founder Julian Assange
Controversial website WikiLeaks continues to remain online today, despite the continued efforts of a lengthy and massive DDoS attack. Beginning in August of this year, the site has come under constant attack by a distributed denial of service attack that is flooding the site’s main domains with over 10 gigabytes of data per second. Ever resilient, however, the site continues to operate, albeit at a decidedly sluggish pace.
Launched in 2006, WikiLeaks has become the most infamous outlet of Julian Assange. An Australian, Assange has been a leading figure in online activism, with WikiLeaks as his flagship achievement. Dedicated to publishing or making otherwise publicly available documents that have been listed as classified or otherwise secret, WikiLeaks has been responsible for a number of notorious information leaks. From the Guantanamo Bay files detailing the US’ treatment of prisoners during its war on terror, to documents exposing corruption in countries like Libya, WikiLeaks’ sole purpose is to expose to the public information that governments might not want it to know. One of their most famous leaks was the 2007 Baghdad Airstrike footage, which showed journalists being killed by American missile drops. The release of these and other files has incited outrage, while governments argue that they put innocent lives in unnecessary danger.
This, of course, gives the recent DDoS attack a veritable host of potential culprits. There is no shortage of entities who might want WikiLeaks disabled (permanently or otherwise), and the level of this month’s attack suggests something beyond a single individual, or even small group.
In fact, this particular dedicated denial of service attack (something that’s illegal in the vast majority of companies) has some serious firepower behind it. The WikiLeaks official Twitter has noted that “Whoever is running [the attack] controls thousands of machines, or is able to simulate them.”
While this might point to a larger organization, it doesn’t actually help lend any real clarity as to the actual attacker or its true motivation.
Most recently, a Twitter account (@AntiLeaks) has been registered under the name “Anti Leaks.” This information is courtesy of the WikiLeaks Twitter account, and the organization is still unable to shed any light on who AntiLeaks might actually be. Is it a secret government organization? Perhaps the result of a cabal of corporate bigwigs? It might just be some internet pranksters, but there’s no way to tell at this point. Information is scarce, and the DDoS attack rages on, preventing on the world’s largest source for classified and secret information from doing its job the way it was designed to.
WikiLeaks, of course, doesn’t intend to go anywhere. The company’s attitude is tough and resilient. Just the other day, its Twitter feed was alight with challenging words: “…our skin just gets harder. We’re ready to rumble.” Clearly dedicated on the mission to bring information to the public, WikiLeaks is continuing to deal with the problem. A DDoS attack can be a nightmare for a web page builder, but however much work it takes, there’s little doubt that WikiLeaks will be back in full-force as quickly as possible.
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