“WikiLeaks.org is down for unknown reasons. We are investigating. www.wikileaks.org is still up,” read a tweet posted by WikiLeaks on August 3.
One day later, a hacker group identifying itself on Twitter as AntiLeaks took credit for the downtime, announcing that wikileaks.org was “tango down.”
Yesterday, the group’s leader – DietPepsi - issued a statement to reveal the reasons behind the distributed denial-of-service (DDOS) attack launched on the whistleblower website.
“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 asylum in Ecuador,” he wrote.
“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,” he added.
In the meantime, WikiLeaks has called out to its supporters seeking help to mitigate the attacks.
“Please support #WikiLeaks against attacks to shut it down. Donate via FDNN while wikileaks.org/donate is unavailable,” read a tweet from WikiLeaks yesterday.
They also name possible reasons for the attack.
“Speculation on DDoS attack against WikiLeaks timing: 1. Olympics cover 2. Upcomng release. 3. Ongoing Syria, Stratfor releases,” WikiLeaks representatives stated.
WikiLeaks isn’t the only site that has been taken down as a result of DDOS attacks. WL Central, Justice for Assange, FDNN and Cabledrum – the text search engine designed for the Cablegate files - have all been affected by similar cybercriminal operations.
Currently, only WikiLeaks and Cabledrum are still down. Also, a mirror site for WikiLeaks has been set in place.