WikiLeaks has recently been hit by another distributed denial of service (DDoS) attack, according to a report by TechWeekEurope. It is believed that a government entity is behind the attack. The publishing body announced on Twitter that the website and the donation page run by French organization Defense Fund Net Neutrality (FDNN) were down. At the time of writing this, the main WikiLeaks website was still down.
The official account of WikiLeaks on Twitter published these updates:
“WikiLeaks donation page and FDNN portal down.”
“No one is directly frightened of WikiLeaks. What they’re frightened of is you seeing a successful example of independence,” said another. “What they’re frightened of is you knowing how the world works, because they’re scared of you.”
“Speculation on DDoS attack against WikiLeaks timing: 1. Olympics cover 2. Upcomng [sic] release. 3. Ongoing Syria, Stratfor releases”
Regarding the last tweet, WikiLeaks hasn’t exposed much on the 2012 Olympic Games; so it is unlikely that the attack is a result of its coverage of the event. However, Robyn Jackson, a supporter of WikiLeaks tweeted that the Olympics reference wasn't related to WikiLeaks activities, “Whilst attention of the world is on [mainstream media] Olympic games coverage, WikiLeaks’ ability to get donations crippled”.
The target of more DDoS attacks
Back in February this year, WikiLeaks had begun releasing more than five million emails obtained from Stratfor, a private intelligence company. According to an earlier report, WikiLeaks' founder Julian Assange told Reuters, "Here we have a private intelligence firm, relying on informants from the US government, foreign intelligence agencies with questionable reputations, and journalists". He added, "What is of grave concern is that the targets of this scrutiny are, among others, activist organisations fighting for a just cause".
This isn’t the first time WikiLeaks has been targeted by a DDoS attack. The organization had been hit by a 72-hour strike in May this year. According to a report by ZDNet, a group called AntiLeaks claimed responsibility for the attack. The group said, “Assange is the head of a new breed of terrorist. We are doing this as a protest against his attempt to escape justice into Ecuador. This would be a catalyst for many more like him to rise up in his place. We will not stop and they will not stop us”.
Julian Assange is awaiting a decision from the Ecuador government for grant of asylum. According to a report by Reuters, Ecuador has said that it will take as long as needed to make a thorough assessment of Assange's asylum request before making a decision. Foreign Minister Ricardo Patino has decided to wait until the end of the London Olympic Games on August 12 to announce a decision. Earlier, Assange lost the final appeal against extradition from the UK to Sweden. The founder of WikiLeaks is wanted in Sweden for allegedly raping a woman and molesting another in Stockholm two years ago.