WikiLeaks is currently experiencing a second wave denial of service attack (DoS) that is reported to be several time more powerful than the first attack that began Sunday prior to the release of thousands of classified documents.
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).
Today's DoS could be originating from a new attacker, as evidenced by the increased magnitude. The Jester's technique is a DoS application-level attack that exploits an inherent flaw in the majority of servers, and can be executed with on single low-spec machine.
Demonstrations of The Jester's DoS attack in action can be found in two videos ( Video 1, Video 2) provided exclusively to Infosec Island during the course of several interviews with the hactivist earlier this year.
The 10 Gbps strength of today's offensive may indicate that it is a distributed denial of service (DDoS), utilizing a vast number machines similar to those used in zombie botnet attacks. The increased magnitude could also be due to the volume of packets from a limited number of machines, or the attack could be a combination of both scenarios.
The big question is exactly who is perpetrating today's onslaught.
WikiLeaks has incited a great deal of ire from a number of interested parties since the release of reams of diplomatic communications, now dubbed "Cablegate."
The Chinese have blocked access to WikiLeaks, their mirrored sites, and other outlets for the stolen records, after some unflattering revelations regarding the Chinese government's connection to cyber security events like the "Aurora" hacking of Google accounts last year.
Senator Joe Lieberman, after condemning the leaks but stopping short of classifying WikiLeaks as a terrorist organization, recommended that WikiLekas be shut down by "all legal means" - which can be broadly interpreted when dealing with sensitive national security issues.
New York's Rep. Peter King was not as kind, stating that WikiLeaks is in fact "engaged in terrorist activity," and that in releasing the classified materials, the group is "enabling terrorists to kill Americans."
Former Ambassador to the United Nations John Bolton expressed perhaps the boldest opinions, stating yesterday that the leadership of the WikiLeaks organization should in fact be charged with treason - a crime punishable by death - and that "America's cyber warfare capabilities need practice, and I think they ought to practice on Wikileaks!"
Whoever may be behind today's DoS attacks on WikiLeaks, their efforts will ultimately have no effect on the dissemination of the classified documents, nor will it stem the potential diplomatic backlash from the information the materials reveal.
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