"The WikiLeaks Twitter account displays the messages, "We are currently under another DDoS attack," and "DDoS attack now exceeding 10 Gigabits a second," which dwarfs the 2-4 Gbps attack perpetrated by self-proclaimed "patriot hacker" known only as The Jester (th3j35t3r)..."
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UPDATE: Anti-Jihadi Hacker The Jester Hits WikiLeaks Site With XerXeS DoS Attack
"Earlier this year, I conducted several interviews with The Jester regarding his repeated attacks on militant Islamic websites, including successful disruptions of the sites administered by the Taliban and by Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. Now it appears The Jester is not limiting his attacks to militant jihadi websites, and has decided to unleash the wrath of XerXeS on the WikiLeaks outlet..."
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WikiLeaks, the secret-sharing website led by fugitive founder Julian Assange that has been plaguing the U.S. government with the release of thousands of classified documents, allegedly suffered a denial of service (DoS) attack that took it offline just hours before the scheduled release of more embarrassing records.
The WikiLeaks Twitter account carried the message, "We are currently under a mass distributed denial of service attack," for several hours on Sunday.
Rumors and speculation about the origin of the attacks are running wild on Internet forums, though it is unlikely the U.S. government would be behind the assault.
The bulk of the documents to be posted by WikiLeaks were previously provided to several news agencies, so the disruption to the WikiLeaks website would not have prevented the release of the s-called "Embassy" documents.
The classified data dump is supposed to contain diplomatic communications that reveal some unflattering statements from U.S. officials on the leadership of several allies, as well as information on several international hot spots like North Korea, Iran and Iraq.
Denial of service attacks can take down a website for several hours or even days, and the tactic is becoming more widely used in attempts to censor information and further political agendas.
DoS attacks are nothing new, and are perpetrated by simply flooding a target server with simultaneous communications through several different techniques.
The majority of servers deployed in the public and private sectors are susceptible to such attacks, and preventative measures to thwart DDoS vulnerabilities can be expensive to implement.
Notable DoS attacks this past year include:
- Unknown parties launched successful attacks against several human rights group in an effort to dissuade the distribution of video footage
- Operation Payback, working in conjunction with the shadowy coalition known only as Anonymous, has been stepping up attacks against anti-piracy groups
- Social networking group Tumblr preemtively hit rival 4chan with a DoS attack after it was rumored 4chan users were planning an attack of their own
- DoS attacks plagued the oil and gas industries earlier this year with ransom demands