Political hacker takes credit for Wikileaks DDoS attack

Share this article:
A political hacker has claimed responsibility for a distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attack that took down Wikileaks.org on Sunday shortly before the whistleblower site began releasing a cache of confidential U.S. Embassy cables containing revelations about the government's foreign activities.

The attack began at approximately 10 a.m. on Sunday when traffic to one of Wikileak's primary hosting providers significantly jumped by two to four gigabytes per second, Craig Labovitz, chief scientist for security firm Arbor Networks, wrote in a blog post Monday.

A hacker calling himself "Jester" and using the Twitter handle “th3j35t3r" took credit for the attack, which made the Wikileaks site inaccessible for several hours.

In a tweet Sunday, the hacker said he took down the site "for attempting to endanger the lives of our troops and other assets."

Wikileaks announced the outage on Facebook and Twitter about 11 a.m. EST on Sunday but promised that the cables would still be released.

After the attack began, Wikileaks redirected DNS configurations from its Swedish hosting provider to sites hosted by Amazon's Elastic Cloud Computing (EC2) service in Ireland and later the United States, according to researchers. Despite the attack, Wikileaks began publishing the cables at cablegate.wikileaks.org on Sunday.

Prior to being published, some of the cables were released to several news organizations.

Among the 251,287 cables, which date from 1966 to the end of February, is one that describes a "global hacking effort" against Google, according to a report in the New York Times. The incident was first disclosed by Google in January when the search giant revealed that its systems, as well as those belonging to a number of other, high-profile companies, were compromised to steal intellectual property on behalf of Chinese hackers.

According to the Times report, the attack was ordered by China's Politburo, the governing force behind the ruling Communist Party.

Share this article:
You must be a registered member of SC Magazine to post a comment.

Sign up to our newsletters

More in News

CryptoWall surpasses CryptoLocker in infection rates

CryptoWall surpasses CryptoLocker in infection rates

A threat analysis from Dell SecureWorks CTU says that CryptoWall has picked up where its famous sibling left off.

Professor says Google search, not hacking, yielded medical info

Professor says Google search, not hacking, yielded medical ...

A professor of ethical hacking at City College San Francisco came forward to clarify that he did not demonstrate hacking a medical center's server in a class.

Syrian Malware Team makes use of enhanced BlackWorm RAT

Syrian Malware Team makes use of enhanced BlackWorm ...

FireEye analyzed the hacking group's use of the malware, dubbed the "Dark Edition" of BlackWorm.