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After cyber-attack, Wikileaks switches servers

By LOUISE NORDSTROM
December 3, 2010

The Internet homepage of Wikileaks is shown in this photo taken in New York, Wednesday, Dec. 1, 2010. WikiLeaks' release of secret government communications should serve as a warning to the nation's biggest businesses: You're next. (AP Photo/Richard Drew)

Wikileaks was forced Friday to switch over to a Swiss domain name, wikileaks.ch, after a new round of hacker attacks on its system prompted its American domain name provider to withdraw service.

WikiLeaks’ U.S. domain name system provider, EveryDNS, withdrew service to the wikileaks.org name late Thursday, saying it took the action because the new hacker attacks threatened the rest of its network.

“Wikileaks.org has become the target of multiple distributed denial of service attacks. These attacks have, and future attacks would, threaten the stability of the EveryDNS.net infrastructure,” EveryDNS said in a statement.

EveryDNS provides access to some 500,000 websites.

In a tweet on Friday, the owner of EveryDNS, Dynamic Network Services Inc., wrote that “trust is paramount: Our users and customers are our most important asset.” It did not specify whether it was referring to WikiLeaks, however.

WikiLeaks confirmed the move in a separate tweet, saying “WikiLeaks.org domain killed by US everydns.net after claimed mass attacks.” It was not clear where the alleged attacks were coming from.

WikiLeaks has previously claimed that intelligence agencies from the U.S. and elsewhere have been targeting its site, which has spilled thousands of embarrassing U.S. diplomatic cables as well as classified U.S. military documents.

Earlier this week, WikiLeaks’ Swedish server host, Bahnhof, confirmed that the website had been hit by a cyber attack just before it leaked thousands of classified U.S. diplomatic cables.

In addition to the latest batch of sensitive documents, WikiLeaks has angered the U.S. and other governments by publishing almost half a million secret documents about the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. It is not clear how WikiLeaks obtained the diplomatic documents, but the U.S. government’s prime suspect is an Army private, Bradley Manning, who is in custody on charges of leaking other classified documents to WikiLeaks.

On Wednesday, Amazon.com Inc. — which had provided WikiLeaks with use of its servers to distribute embarrassing State Department communications and other documents — evicted it. The site remains on the servers of its Swedish provider.

The ouster from Amazon came after congressional staff questioned the company about its relationship with WikiLeaks. Sen. Joe Lieberman praised Amazon’s action and said it should “set the standard” for companies WikiLeaks is using to distribute “illegally seized material”

In its decision to terminate the service for Wikileaks, EveryDNS cited what it called a violation of the provision stating that a member should “not interfere with another member’s use and enjoyment of the service.”

Andre Rickardsson, an expert on file-sharing and information technology security at Sweden’s Bitsec Consulting, said domain name providers normally don’t drop their clients unless the clients themselves have breached their user contract. “WikiLeaks is not behind the disturbance here, but individuals trying to disturb WikiLeaks’ operations,” he said.

Rickardsson said he had never experienced a user being shut off under similar circumstances.

“I don’t believe for a second that this has been done by EveryDNS themselves. I think they’ve been under pressure,” he said referring to U.S. authorities.

Mark Stephens, the London-based lawyer for WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, also speculated that outside pressure had forced EveryDNS to pull the plug on WikiLeaks.

“Pressure appears to have been applied to close the WikiLeaks domain name,” he wrote on the micro-blogging website.

Assange, a 39-year-old Australian, has been out of public sight for nearly a month. Sweden has issued an Europe-wide arrest warrant for him over allegations of rape, sexual molestation and unlawful coercion, but the exact nature of the allegations are still unclear.

Assange’s Swedish and British lawyers claim their client has attempted to assist in the questioning but so far Sweden has turned down his offers. According to his lawyers, he has also yet to receive formal notice of the allegations.

An American defense official has also indicated that U.S. government lawyers are investigating whether Assange can be prosecuted for spying. He is also risks legal action in his homeland, where Australia’s Attorney General Robert McClelland has said Australia would detain Assange if possible in response to the warrant filed in the Swedish case by Interpol.

Assange has spoken publicly lately only through online interviews.

___

Raphael G. Satter in London contributed to this report.

Copyright © 2010The Associated Press

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4 Responses to After cyber-attack, Wikileaks switches servers

  1. Carl Nemo

    December 3, 2010 at 10:40 pm

    It’s amazing to witness how the ‘Globalist Big Brother’ network will unite to crush any form information being outed on the part of world citizens. This may not happen again anytime soon, but at least its given the world at large an insiders view of the corrupt workings of our state department and the games our leadership plays with foreign leaders all to maintain “Empire AmeriKanus”. We also get to witness the foibles of foreign leaders, many allegedly our allies. Scheming, dirtbags all!

    Carl Nemo **==

  2. b mcclellan

    December 3, 2010 at 11:17 pm

    Al and I were just speaking of Orbs and greenery Carl,
    Australia seems to have an AG with chinks
    of who is INTERPOL in his armor / Sovereignty.

    LOPRETNI, why are you so pliable as to be driven to attack Assange if one or more facts point to only applause and reaffirmation of the whistle blower act.?

    Lay off you stupid puppets, the can is barely open and there be worms to fish along with some real shiners.

    Man of the year , maybe not, but he will have safe haven here none the less..

  3. Almandine

    December 3, 2010 at 11:47 pm

    The honor of – much less the need for – straightforward truthfulness will never be met by the pols and “officials” we allow to represent us. They have found their personal, callous, disrespectful, whoring calling of their own making.

    DO NOT — evil, or merely stupid, ones look to us for your validation.

    Oftentimes, one might say ill, or merely off-the-beam utterances, regarding a friend or foe, but the responsibility for those remarks must come HOME to roost. Especially, if the one mouthing those words has any backbone at all.

    The assholes who “speak for us” internationally, apparently one and all, have neither backbone nor honor. Their words need to be made public to insulate the rest of us from culpability.

    For those who would screw Assange in retaliation… think again: what has he done but show us the caliber of our “leaders”. Yeah, I get it… kill the messenger.

  4. b mcclellan

    December 4, 2010 at 12:24 am

    Are we ready for fear of the truth brigade?
    Pluck will not beget where men of purpose hunkered 200+ years ago.

    Ask the unemployed, want a job raising hell?
    Very tight circles have few stars. Alas.