As Wikileaks was preparing to release part of the 250,000 diplomatic documents on Sunday, its operators alerted the public via their Twitter account that the whistleblowing website was being targeted by a mass distributed Denial of Service attack.
“El Pais, Le Monde, Speigel, Guardian & NYT will publish many US embassy cables tonight, even if WikiLeaks goes down,” it said in one of the following tweets. It seems that the site was a little more difficult to reach than usual, but as promised, the cables were already shared with the aforementioned media.
WikiLeaks operators haven’t said who they think is behind the attack, but it is generally thought not to be the U.S. government, as the attack would have little or no impact on the release of the documents.
Among the various interesting things that the leaked cables revealed is that, following the January discovery of the Aurora attacks on various U.S. companies, a Chinese contact shared with the American Embassy in Beijing that the hacking of Google was just a part of a larger sabotage campaign.
According to The New York Times, this campaign has been executed by government operatives, private security experts and various hackers, who have been breaching computers belonging to the U.S. government, its Western allies, U.S. businesses and the Dalai Lama for the last eight years – at the behest of the Chinese government.
The Guardian says that the person who organized the attacks is a “senior member of the Politburo who typed his own name into the global version of the search engine and found articles criticising him personally.”