- George Zimmerman will not be charged in domestic dispute
- Russian officials press bilateral U.S. trade deal
- Selfies at Funerals blog creator retires after Obama flub: ‘Our work here is done’
- New Obama adviser Podesta is against Keystone but will steer clear of pipeline deliberations
- 40 Australian adults, children found in ‘one of the worst accounts of incest ever made public’
- Venezuela’s Maduro calls on student ‘price vigilantes’ to hit the streets, report businesses
- Atheists smug as Hindus join Satanists to demand display at Oklahoma Statehouse
- Bow before Valkyrie, NASA’s ‘superhero robot’ entry in DARPA challenge
- 10-year-old Pennsylvania boy suspended for pretend bow-and-arrow shooting
- Tea partyers turn on Capitol Hill budget deal
WikiLeaks says was denial-of-service attack victim
Question of the Day
The online website WikiLeaks on Sunday blamed the temporary outage of its site on a denial-of-service attack by unknown hackers trying to prevent its release of hundreds of thousands of classified U.S. State Department documents.
WikiLeaks said on Twitter early Sunday that its website was “under a mass distributed denial of service attack” but promised that Spain’s El Pais, France’s Le Monde, Germany’s Der Spiegel, Britain’s Guardian newspaper and The New York Times “will publish many US embassy cables tonight, even if WikiLeaks goes down.” WikiLeaks had given the media outlets prior access to the diplomatic cables to publish in conjunction with their Sunday release on its site.
There was no reason to doubt WikiLeaks’ claim; the website was inaccessible for much of Sunday, though several hundred cables were posted on its site by late afternoon. The cables, many of them classified, offer candid, sometimes unflattering assessments of foreign leaders, ranging from U.S. allies such as Germany and Italy to other nations like Libya, Iran and Afghanistan.
In a typical denial-of-service attack, remote computers commandeered by rogue programs bombard a website with so many data packets that it becomes overwhelmed and unavailable to visitors. Pinpointing the culprits is impossible because the Internet’s structure does not allow for the tracing back of the data packets used in such attacks, computer security expert Bruce Schneier told The Associated Press on Sunday.
Hackers have used denial-of-service attacks over the years to target corporate and government websites.
Last month political bloggers in Vietnam said they were victimized by cyberattacks designed to block their websites to stifle government dissent. Other targets have included U.S. and South Korean government websites in 2009 and computer networks in Estonia, which were crippled for nearly three weeks in 2007 by what were believed to be Russian hackers.
James Lewis, a cybersecurity expert and a senior fellow at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, said it’s unlikely the U.S. or some other government would use denial-of-service attacks against WikiLeaks.
His best guess is it’s “a bunch of geeks who’ve decided they’re annoyed with WikiLeaks.”
“Denial of service is usually the amateur’s approach,” he told the AP on Sunday. “Usually it’s the hacker community …”
“Usually they’re more interested in exploiting, that is getting into WikiLeaks to figure out what’s going on. Or they’re interested in doing some kind of damage, and denial of service really doesn’t do any damage.”
Such an attack would only stall WikiLeaks, not prevent the information from being released.
Schneier also said he seriously doubts any U.S. government agency would be involved in such an attack because it amounts to a mere “nuisance” and could not stop Wikileaks from releasing the diplomatic cables. He notes that there are many ways to distribute information online.
An encrypted file that was made available online using BitTorrent file-sharing technology in late July is believed to hold the cables. All Wikileaks would need to do to unlock the file is distribute the key.
By Matt Kibbe
- Rand Paul: Budget deal 'shameful,' 'huge mistake'
- Teen thugs in D.C. run wild -- even while wearing GPS ankle bracelets
- KIBBE: Another Republican budget surrender
- Obama takes 'selfie' at Mandela's funeral service
- Study IDs reasons for late-term abortions
- CARSON: Why did the founders give us the Second Amendment?
- American bourbon now better than Scottish whisky: U.K.-born expert
- VEGAS RULES: Harry Reid pushed feds to change ruling for casino's big-money foreigners
- Biden guarantees victory on immigration reform
- Chinese man fed up with his girlfriend's shopping jumps to his death
Independent voices from the The Washington Times Communities
Interviews and show reviews from the Los Angeles punk scene past and present. Los Angeles has always been rich in punk rock talent since punk rock was born.
Buzz on Bees is a column promoting the love and life of God’s greatest pollinators on earth: The Honeybee
Brazen, leading-edge, “call it like it is” columns and reporting from Ohio native, radio host and writer, Sara Marie Brenner.
A libertarian look at breaking news and political trends by author Tom Mullen.
Extraordinary day at Redskins Park
White House pets gone wild!
Let it snow