Home | Global News | Kingdom rejects WikiLeaks claims; website comes under cyber attack

Kingdom rejects WikiLeaks claims; website comes under cyber attack


Published: Dec 1, 2010 00:01 Updated: Dec 1, 2010 00:02

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia has no connection with the documents published by WikiLeaks nor does it have anything to do with its formulations, said an official source at the Foreign Ministry. “We cannot confirm the authenticity or credibility of the documents released by the website.

Saudi Arabia cannot comment on them,” the source said in a statement to the Saudi Press Agency on Tuesday.

He added that Saudi policies are clear and well known.

The WikiLeaks website, which posted more than 250,000 confidential and classified documents on Sunday of diplomatic exchanges, has never revealed its source.

Meanwhile, the WikiLeaks website said it came under a forceful Internet-based attack on Tuesday morning, making it inaccessible for hours to users in the US and Europe.

The site appears to have recovered from the attack with the help of Amazon.com Inc.’s US-based server-for-rent service. Late Tuesday morning, Web traffic to the site was handled by Amazon Web Services.

The site, which distributed a trove of US diplomatic documents on Sunday, said in a Twitter message on Tuesday morning that it was under a “distributed denial of service attack,” a method commonly used by hackers to slow down or bring down sites. WikiLeaks didn’t identify the attackers.

The site also came under attack Sunday, but Tuesday’s attack appeared to be more powerful.

Calls to Seattle-based Amazon.com were not immediately returned. Bahnhof, a Swedish Internet company that has been involved in hosting WikiLeaks, had no immediate comment on Tuesday.

In a typical denial-of-service attack, remote computers commandeered by rogue programs bombard a website with so many data packets that it becomes overwhelmed and unavailable to visitors. Pinpointing the culprits is difficult.

WikiLeaks said the malicious traffic was coming in at 10 gigabits per second on Tuesday, which would make it a relatively large effort. According to a study by Internet security company Arbor Networks, the average denial of service attack over the past year was 349 megabits per second, 28 times slower than the stream Wikileaks reported.

Sunday’s attack didn’t stop the publication of stories based on messages leaked from the US State Department in several major newspapers. WikiLeaks had given the media outlets prior access to the diplomatic cables to publish in conjunction with their Sunday release on its site.

Meanwhile, the US State Department has cut off a US military computer network from its database of diplomatic cables after WikiLeaks obtained more than 250,000 such cables, a senior US official said on Tuesday.

The official, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said the network was the US military’s Secret Internet Protocol Router Network, known as SIPRNet, believed to have been the ultimate source for the cables obtained by the whistleblower website.

For more information visit: http://arabnews.com/saudiarabia/article204877.ece

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