Posts Tagged ‘wikileaks’
With Wikileaks’ Julian Assange arrested in the UK for alleged sex offences and the Wikileaks website back online via a mirroring system, the fallout from the Internet’s arguably first Info War is heating up. With Julian Assange’s assets and Wikileaks funding frozen, Cyber-activist group Anonymous attacked MasterCard, PayPal, Visa and Amazon in retaliation – although Amazon and PayPal’s cloud service survived the attacks relatively unscathed. Now apparently, one Alex Tapanaris, a Greek designer has been arrested in Greece for circulating a PDF press release document released several days ago by Anonymous. Hacking groups for and against Wikileaks have been launching denial of service attacks at each other for a couple of weeks now and it shows no signs of slowing down. The software used in the attacks, the Low Orbit Ion Cannon has reportedly been downloaded at least 88,000 times this week alone. While it is a simple C# program which does not protect it’s users from anonymity, the sheer number of people attacking each target being co-ordinated from Twitter means it’s unlikely to yield many arrests although the mass media in the UK has been bigging up the fact that even downloading the software could be considered a crime. Some have argued that the software has legitimate uses with network stress-testing and prosecutors would have a hard time holding up such a case in a real court of law and that downloading does not prove illegal intent.
One thing is for sure, the world’s first Info War is unlikely to end any time soon and the list of targets on each side will only grow in the coming weeks. It’s certainly fascinating stuff.
Since then Wikileaks has been taking steps to ensure that it never gets booted from the Internet again by using a sort of mass-mirroring system and if you have a unix-based server and some free space, you can help. Essentially, if you have a server or a hosting service, you can set up a RSYNC+SSH or FTP account and tell Wikileaks and they will add your server to the list of mirrors in order to keep the site alive. While the majority of the information is also spreading via the unstoppable BitTorrent protocol, this only relates to the mysterious AES-encrypted “insurance” file and the documents already released – not the site itself.
While the pros and cons of allowing Wikileaks to remain online is debatable and beyond the scope of this site, I will add that the following quote from a blogger who wryly noted that “the problem with Wikileaks isn’t that they’re lying, the problem is that they’re telling the truth”.