WikiLeaks Thrown Offline by DOS Attack, Hours Before Embassies Leak
November 28, 2010
(ChattahBox Technology News)– Just hours before a scheduled Sunday afternoon document dump of thousands of sensitive U.S. diplomatic cables, WikiLeaks’ website was successfully taken down with a distributed Denial of Service Attack. The whistleblower group announced the attack on its Twitter account. “We are currently under a mass distributed denial of service attack,” WikiLeaks tweeted. The Guardian newspaper, one of the news sources given an advance look at the stolen cables, was also briefly taken offline on Sunday. Despite the cyber attacks, WikiLeaks says the leaking of the diplomatic documents will proceed on schedule, with The New York Times, Le Monde, Der Spiegel Magazine, El Pais, as well as the Guardian due to publish reports on the leaked cables. In fact, The New York Times has already published a general overview of the diplomatic material.
“El Pais, Le Monde, Speigel, Guardian & NYT will publish many US embassy cables tonight, even if WikiLeaks goes down,” WikiLeaks tweeted.
The U.S. State Department has been frantically contacting foreign governments, in advance of the leak to ward off diplomatic fallout from the release of diplomatic cables that could prove embarrassing for some leaders.
Harold Koh, the top legal adviser to the State department issued a last-minute appeal to WikiLeaks’ founder Julian Assange, pleading with him to reconsider leaking the thousands of stolen documents. Koh, said leaking the cables would “place at risk the lives of countless innocent individuals—from journalists to human rights activists and bloggers to soldiers to individual providing information.”
“At a minimum,” Koh added, the release would also “place at risk” ongoing military operations and foreign cooperation.
Adm Mullen has condemned the leak as “extremely dangerous.”
(Update: Der Spiegel Magazine has just released its first story on the stolen diplomatic cables.