When it comes to cyberwarfare, nobody is safe, not even those that see it coming. WikiLeaks, the governmental secrets publisher, was hit by a cyber attack that took it down for ten days. WikiLeaks is now back online, thanks to CloudFlare hosting.
For ten days, hackers managed to shut down WikiLeaks. According to a Twitter post from the website, WikiLeaks was hit by a cyber attack involving junk traffic. So much of it that it eventually shut down WikiLeaks. Over 10 gigabits per second of such junk traffic made for a cyber attack strong enough to overwhelm WikiLeaks’ servers.
Anonymous, a hacker group, known for supporting WikiLeaks put together alternative ways of accessing the site. They managed to keep an anonymous network and mirror sites working despite the junk traffic cyber attack.
“Anti Leaks” claimed the cyber attack on WikiLeaks. A statement from the group’s leader, DietPepsi, released August 8, reads they are “young adults, citizens of the United States of America”. The hackers’ leader emphasized they did not attack WikiLeaks “to call attention to” themselves.
After WikiLeaks was hit by the cyber attack, a lot of people thought the site was finally taken down by some governmental parties bothered by the site’s leaks. When Anti Leaks claimed the cyber attack on WikiLeaks there were some voices claiming the hackers worked for the U.S. government.
“We find the speculation that we are not behind these attacks and/or that we are CIA/NSA/FBI or even wikileaks [sic] themselves to be downright comical” the Anti Leaks group reacted. The hacker group added their cyber attack on WikiLeaks was caused by their deep concern “about the recent developments with Julian Assange and his attempt at asylum in Ecuador”.
Kristinn Hrafnsson, spokesman for WikiLeaks, implied there might be a link between the U.S. government and the ten-day cyber attack. “It is pretty obvious this attack is more than a few individuals. We are talking about someone with access to tens of thousands of computer systems” Hrafnsson said.
“This started just a few days after we got credit card payments open again for donations, and who has a vested interest in stopping money flowing to WikiLeaks? Anyone can tell you that” the spokesman added. “This is an ongoing battle with someone with huge access to power” he concluded of the recent WikiLeaks cyberattack.