Claiming that the site was “under heavy attack,” Wikileaks posted an appeal on its Web site looking for individuals willing to help mirror the contents of Wikileaks now infamous Cablegate documents on a physical or virtual server. Within hours the site’s content was being mirrored at over 500 locations, according to a list provided by Wikileaks.
The main Wikileaks.org domain was unreachable on Monday afternoon. Communicating via the organization’s Twitter account, the organization said that its servers, now hosted in Sweden, were under attack. Wikileaks said that the mirroring push was a response to efforts to shut the Web site down.
“In order to make it impossible to ever fully remove Wikileaks from the Internet, we need your help,” the post reads. “If you have a unix-based server which is hosting a website on the Internet and you want to give wikileaks some of your hosting resources, you can help!”
A Web based sign-up page includes instructions for registering a server to act as a mirror address, creating a Wikileaks subdomain in the DNS A (host name) record for the server and giving Wikileaks staff administrative access to the server, using either SSH (Secure Shell) or FTP (File Transfer Protocol) to upload the Cablegate content.
“We will take care of all the rest: Sending pages to your server, updating them each time data is released, maintaining a list of such mirrors. If your server is down or if the account don’t work anymore, we will automatically remove your server from the list,” the post said.
While the effort to keep the leaked diplomatic cables online appeared to be working, the organization and its founder, Julian Assange, faced challenges from numerous other sources, diplomatic and otherwise, including:
- Paypal suspended the organization’s account, citing a violation of the terms of its Acceptable Use Policy, which forbids activities that “encourage, promote, facilitate or instruct others to engage in illegal activity,” a company spokesman told Threatpost.
- The Swiss Post Office Finance Bank froze an account belonging to Assange, including proceeds for his legal defense fund, according to a published report.
- The U.S. State Department warned prospective government employees at Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs in New York City that talking about or linking to the Wikileaks material online could jeopardize their ability to get hired by the U.S. government by casting doubt on their ability to handle “confidential” information. (Forgetting, apparently, that the Wikileaks documents are now in the public domain.) This, according to a story on Huffingtonpost, which published a copy of an email sent to current students at SIPA.