A notorious hacker collective gave Wikileaks a scare late Wednesday night, hijacking the organization’s front page and making it appear as though the site itself had been seriously compromised. The group, known as OurMine, openly mocked Wikileaks on its own homepage, claiming they “hacked” the site. However, the truth is a little more complicated.
OurMine, which has made a name for itself by taking over the Twitter accounts major tech celebrities like Mark Zuckerberg and even brands like the NFL and HBO, didn’t actually hack the Wikileaks servers. Instead, they targeted the domain name server that translates the web address (in this case, Wikileaks.org) into the IP address of the actual website. By hijacking the DNS, OurMine was able to reroute web traffic from the Wikileaks homepage onto its own server, where it displayed the taunting text.
“Anonymous, remember when you tried to dox us with fake information for attacking Wikileaks?” OurMine’s message reads. “There we go! One group beat you all! #WikileaksHack lets get it trending on Twitter!”
Wikileaks was quick to debunk the “hack,” calling it “fake news” while noting that none of the organization’s information or servers had actually been breached by anyone. The site’s DNS woes were sorted out shortly thereafter, and the site is now back to normal as of this writing.
It would seem that the motive for the “hack” was simply to give Wikileaks a scare, as OurMine doesn’t appear to have attempted to do any actual damage. The hackers fancy themselves a “security group,” and often leave their email and Twitter handle on properties they breach in an attempt to attract clients who want to better their security. I’m not terribly certain that exploiting Twitter celebs and attacking websites is the best way to do that, but hey, to each their own.