Wikileaks Suffers Further Cyber Attacks

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Wikileaks claims to have been the victim of another cyber attack following its biggest leak yet

Wikileaks directed its Twitter followers to mirror sites last night, after claiming to be under a sustained cyber attack that crashed the main wikileaks.org site.

The alleged attack brought the whistleblowing site down for several hours and comes as it released almost 134,000 diplomatic cables in the last week.

Tweeting throughout the DDOS attack, the organisation made a plea for donations to fund its defence. It is not clear who was behind the attack but, having survived, Wikileaks remained defiant, tweeting at approximately 3am GMT: “Wikileaks.org back. Nice try.”

It is not the first time Wikileaks has claimed to be a victim of cyber violence and the site already had back-ups such as Wikileaks.lu and Cablegatesearch.net ready in aniticipation.

Leaks endanger lives

Wikileaks has been accused by the US and Australian governments of putting lives at risk with the most recent releases. The Associated Press reviewed more than 2,000 of the cables and found the names of 90 sources who had sought protection and whose names the cable authors had asked to protect.

It has also been reported that the names of several Australians accused of links with al-Qaida in the Arabian peninsula were also published in the released cables.

This moved Australia’s attorney-general Robert McClelland (pictured) to condemn the release as reckless and potentially dangerous.

“The publication of any information that could compromise Australia’s national security – or inhibit the ability of intelligence agencies to monitor potential threats – is incredibly irresponsible,” he said in a statement.

And Wikileaks took to Twitter to defend itself from the charges, tweeting this afternoon: “WikiLeaks has not released the names of any “informants”. The material is unclassified and previously released by mainstream media.”

At the time of writing Wikileaks’ Twitter feed has told followers to prepare for an important announcement.

Previous hacks

Last week, a 22-year-old student from Hartlepool became the first Brit to be charged over retaliatory DDOS attacks on websites that cut off Wikileaks’ funding in the wake of its initial cable leaks in late 2010.

Wikileaks has angered governments around the world and most notably the US by releasing extracts from the cache of 250,000 sensitive government communiqués it has.

Julian Assange, the founder of Wikileaks, is still awaiting the outcome of an appeal against his extradition to Sweden to face allegations of sexual assault, claiming it is in breach of his human rights.

Assange, himself a former computer hacker, claims the case is politically motivated in connection with his site’s leaking of the US diplomatic cables.

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