WikiLeaks is no stranger to being brought down by DDoS attacks. The Web site has been attacked multiple times, usually after a major leak. This past week has been a little difference because the Web site and all its mirrors have been down for nine days. What did they leak this time that caused such an uproar and who’s behind such a massive attack?
WikiLeaks says that they’ve been under attack since revealing TrapWire. According to a leak from Stratfor, TrapWire is a massive surveillance system operated by a private security company called Abraxas. Its goal is to collect information from security cameras around the nation and feed them into a central database. For more on TrapWire, check out this lengthy and comprehensive post that cuts through all the conspiracy theories that have popped up since its unveiling.
WikiLeaks claims that their servers are being attacked by 10 Gbps of bogus traffic per second. If true, this is one of the largest DDoS attacks on record. Having lasted for nine days, it might also be the longest sustained DDoS attack on record.
A group called AntiLeaks claims responsibility behind the attack. The group claims that Wikileaks is a terrorist organization. The DDoS attack is apparently their way of making sure that the group can’t release any more cables. Here’s a statement from AntiLeaks leader, DietPepsi:
You can call me DietPepsi. I am the leader of AntiLeaks. We are not doing this to call attention to ourselves. We are young adults, citizens of the United States of America
and are deeply concerned about the recent developments with Julian Assange and his attempt at aslyum in Ecuador.
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.
When asked how long AntiLeaks would keep up its DDoS attack, the group simply said, “Forever.” It’s hard to say how possible that goal really is, but they have kept WikiLeaks down for over a week. Only time will tell if they’ll be able to keep WikiLeaks down for longer than two weeks.
It’s hard to actually say who is behind AntiLeaks. There are probably many people in the pro-WikiLeaks camp who think it’s somebody within the U.S. government. There also also some who think that this is all just another self-serving media stunt like their fake NY Times editorial.
Beyond the initial facts, nothing is really clear at the moment. It’s almost like the Internet has enabled a world like the one we see in comic books. I never thought that WikiLeaks would encounter a group called AntiLeaks, let alone do battle with them in cyberspace. Combine this with Trapwire and we have ourselves a great cyberpunk novel.
We’ll continue watching WikiLeaks over the next few days. It’s only five days until AntiLeaks has kept the WikiLeaks down for two weeks. At that point, I think it would be safe to say that AntiLeaks is a legitimate group.