The United States’ clandestine security group — the Central Intelligence Agency — has created a task force to, as the Washington Post reports, “assess the impact of the exposure of thousands of U.S. diplomatic cables and military files by WikiLeaks.” The article goes on to note that the WikiLeaks Task Force is better known around the Agency by its acronym: WTF. We would like to take this opportunity to snicker at the task force’s acronym choice. Oh the double-entendre, what a fickle mistress you are. More →
Okay, maybe Interpol didn’t issue an arrest warrant for the unofficial WikiLeaks iOS app… maybe that was just our attempt at wit. The application did, however, get ousted from the iOS App Store by the gatekeepers at Apple. The application’s developer, Igor Barinov, received an email from Apple late yesterday informing him that his application had officially been delisted from the mobile store. The note lacks any shred of specificity and asks Mr. Barinov to contact the iTunes Store Team (who are about to take a week off) for resolution. The application, cleverly titled WikiLeaks App, gives users one-touch access to the now infamous site’s leaked documents and Twitter account; the app cost $1.99. It is unclear whether the application’s removal has to do with a legitimate iOS terms-of-service violation or if Apple is joining the likes of Visa, MasterCard, PayPal, and Bank of America in their assault on WikiLeaks. More →
French digital journalism monitor OWNI published an interview Monday with former right-hand man to Julian Assange, Daniel Domscheit-Berg. Domscheit-Berg shot from anonymity to the spotlight recently when he announced that he was leaving WikiLeaks and launching a new project called OpenLeaks. “In these last months, the organization has not been open any more, it lost its open-source promise,” Domscheit-Berg said of WikiLeaks. He did not elaborate, but OpenLeaks will apparently be focused on achieving WikiLeaks’ initial vision as Domscheit-Berg saw it. The OpenLeaks website is now live (www.openleaks.org), though no content has been published at this point. It will initially be a vehicle for short essays that will serve as a test for the site “without pressure.” This will be the case through early 2011, and then the site will turn to “bigger media.” OpenLeaks is currently a 10-man operation but those numbers will likely rise with haste; Domscheit-Berg said the team is “drowning in applications” from people who want to join the crusade. More →
Global hacker group “Anonymous” announced its plans Thursday morning to launch a cyberattack on Amazon.com. The attack is part of a larger endeavor called “Operation Payback,” which targets the websites of companies the group believes to have impeded WikiLeaks’ efforts to disseminate information. Recent targets include Visa and Mastercard.
Anonymous’ cyberattack on Amazon.com was scheduled to commence at 11:00am Eastern, yet Amazon.com has not experienced any downtime as of 11:20am. As a result, it appears as though the attacks on Amazon.com have been unsuccessful.
UPDATE: Shortly before noon, the group gave up on its plan to attack Amazon.com. Instead, it is currently focusing its efforts on Paypal, though the site has not yet gone offline.
A global, ever-expanding team of hackers called “Anonymous” has announced its next target in a series of cyberattacks that have taken down multiple websites over the past few days. Among its targets were the websites of both Visa and Mastercard following news that the institutions would cease delivery of funds that had been donated to WikiLeaks. Using Twitter to announce the attack, the group is preparing to take down Amazon.com, presumably due to the company’s abrupt cancellation of its hosting agreement with WikiLeaks after being pressured by the Department of Homeland Security. The attack on Amazon.com will begin at 11:00am Eastern.
After being ousted by Amazon’s Web Services, the controversial site WikiLeaks has run into another snafu, this time with its DNS provider, EveryDns.net. Via a statement, EveryDns stated that due to “interference issues” that are affecting the service of others, the company has ceased resolving wikileaks.org; the service was provided to WikiLeaks for free. In response to the DNS shutdown, WikiLeaks tweeted the following message:
WIKILEAKS: Free speech has a number: http://220.127.116.11
In a subsequent tweet, the company then announced that it had moved to Switzerland; the site’s new domain name is now wikileaks.ch.
A very vocal opponent of the WikiLeaks cable publishings has been the Independent Senator from Connecticut, Joe Lieberman. The Senator has introduced legislation, dubbed the SHIELD (Securing Human Intelligence and Enforcing Lawful Dissemination) Act, that would make it illegal to publish information “concerning the human intelligence activities of the United States or any foreign government” or information relating to “a classified source or informant.” We have to wonder where Sen. Lieberman’s legislation was when CIA operative Valerie Plame was outed. No word on when the new legislation will hit the Senate floor.
Meanwhile, Amazon has released a statement stating that the reason for its removal of WikiLeaks’ data from its AWS servers was not a result of denial-of-service (DDoS) attacks or government pressure, but rather the fact that the site did not operate within Amazon’s terms of service. More →
The Associated Press reported Wednesday that Amazon.com may have ended its hosting agreement with controversial website WikiLeaks. WikiLeaks returned to the spotlight recently when it published a bevy of confidential diplomatic cables. Following the release, dubbed “Cable Gate,” WikiLeaks fell under cyberattacks and has been offline sporadically all week. According to the official WikiLeaks Twitter account, DDOS attacks that exceeded 10Gbps targeted the site earlier this week. While the origin of the alleged attacks remains unknown, WikiLeaks has reportedly been taken offline by its host, Amazon.com. Though the site’s homepage remains live, all subdomains appear to be down. Amazon.com did not confirm or deny the AP’s report.
UPDATE: According to a statement from Senator Joe Lieberman, Homeland Security Committee Chairman, Amazon.com has agreed to stop hosting WikiLeaks. More →