By: Sara Yin
Whistleblowing site Wikileaks is up and running again after a massive DDoS (distributed denial of service) attack knocked it offline for three days.
Late Wednesday, Wikileaks’ official Twitter account tweeted, “WikiLeaks has been under sustained DDOS attacks over the last 72 hours. http://www.wikileaks.org is good, http://wikileaks.org is flooded.”
During the blackout Wikileaks moved all its data to various mirror sites.
No one has claimed responsibility for the attack, and the motivation is unclear. WikiLeaks hasn’t done anything out of the ordinary lately; owner Julian Assange remains under house arrest in London to avoid extradition to Sweden, where he faces allegations of molestation.
Furthermore Anonymous has spoken out in support of Wikileaks. In February, Wikileaks published more than 5 million emails from intelligence-gathering firm, Stratfor. Anonymous-aligned hackers allegedly breached Stratfor last December.
Did a private firm fund the attack? Corero Network Security offered this theory to TechWeekEurope, citing an uptake of private firms buying “cybercrime services” to attack controversial organizations.
Yesterday, The Pirate Bay was also knocked offline for a day after sustaining a DDoS attack. At the time The Pirate Bay said in a statement that Anonymous was not behind the attack.
However, an Anonymous-loathing hacker calling himself “Nyre” claimed the attack via a Pastebin post today. Nyre said he wanted to bring down The Pirate Bay for being a mouthpiece for Anonymous:
“You must be wondering why did I attacked [sic] The Pirate Bay. I am Nyre. I am highly against Anonymous. I do not support Anonymous anymore. I sometimes help the feds. The Pirate Bay was a press-release website for Anonymous, then I had a idea, why not take it down? Why not make it impossible for Anonymous? Get on your knees, Anonymous. I am a one-man army. I am not a hacker. I am a security killer. Expect yourself, f******,” he wrote.
Ironically, last week The Pirate Bay denounced an Anonymous-claimed DDoS attack against Virgin Media. They called DDoS and blocks “ugly” methods and forms of censorship. “We do NOT encourage these actions. We believe in the open and free internets, where anyone can express their views. Even if we strongly disagree with them and even if they hate us.”
The Pirate Bay attack occured shortly after ISPs in the U.K., such as Virgin Media, and the Netherlands were ordered to block access to The Pirate Bay over copyright violations.