Stockholm: WikiLeaks’ American domain name system provider withdrew service to the wikileaks.org name after the secret-spilling website once again became the target of hacker attacks.
EveryDNS said in a statement that it dropped the website late Thursday because the attacks threatened the rest of its network. WikiLeaks responded by moving to a Swiss domain name, wikileaks.ch.
EveryDNS said in a statement that “Wikileaks.org has become the target of multiple distributed denial of service attacks. These attacks have, and future attacks would, threaten the stability of the EveryDNS.net infrastructure.” EveryDNS provides access to some 500,000 websites.
In a tweet on Friday, the owner of EveryDNS, Dynamic Network Services Inc., wrote that “trust is paramount: Our users and customers are our most important asset.” It did not specify whether it was referring to WikiLeaks, however.
WikiLeaks confirmed the drop in a separate tweet, saying “WikiLeaks.org domain killed by US everydns.net after claimed mass attacks.” It was not clear where the alleged attacks were coming from.
Earlier this week, WikiLeaks’ Swedish server host, Bahnhof, confirmed that the website had been hit by a cyber attack just before it leaked thousands of classified US diplomatic cables.
In addition to the latest batch of sensitive documents, WikiLeaks has angered the US and other governments by publishing almost half a million secret documents about the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. It is not clear how WikiLeaks obtained the diplomatic documents, but the US government’s prime suspect is an Army private, Bradley Manning, who is in custody on charges of leaking other classified documents to WikiLeaks.
On Wednesday, Amazon.com Inc - who had provided WikiLeaks with use of its servers to distribute embarrassing State Department communications and other documents - evicted it. The site remains on the servers of its Swedish provider.
The ouster from Amazon came after congressional staff questioned the company about its relationship with WikiLeaks. Sen. Joe Lieberman praised Amazon’s action and said it should “set the standard” for companies WikiLeaks is using to distribute “illegally seized material”
The founder of WikiLeaks, 39-year old Australian Julian Assange, has been out of public sight for nearly a month. Sweden has issued an Europe-wide arrest warrant for him over allegations of rape, sexual molestation and unlawful coercion. The exact nature of the allegations are still unclear. Assange’s Swedish and British lawyers claim their client has attempted to assist in the questioning but that his offers have so far been turned down. According to his lawyers, he has also yet to receive formal notice of the allegations.
An American defense official has also indicated that US government lawyers are investigating whether Assange can be prosecuted for spying. He is also risks legal action in his homeland, where Australia’s Attorney General Robert McClelland has said Australia would detain Assange if possible in response to the warrant filed in the Swedish case by Interpol.
While a fugitive, Assange has spoken publicly only through online interviews.