View Full Version : Wikileaks evades hackers with shift to Amazon

30th November 2010, 07:23 PM
Website moves front page to Amazon server hire service but keeps US embassy cables out of reach (updated)

Wikileaks released more than 250,000 US embassy cables revealing highly sensitive information. Photograph: Martin Argles for the Guardian

Wikileaks, the site that has infuriated the US government by releasing thousands of US diplomatic cables, is being hosted by one of the symbols of that country's internet success - Amazon.

The site came under a "Distributed Denial of Service" (DDOS) attack on Sunday night from an unidentified hacker, forcing it to seek a new location for its computer files. And it found it through Amazon's "Elastic Cloud Computing" (EC2) service, which enables businesses to hire its servers and store their data there.

DDOS attacks typically force sites off the net unless they have enormous bandwidth at their disposal or highly effective countermeasures. Wikileaks, being small and struggling for funds, is neither.

But EC2 allows companies to pay for their usage as it mounts up, rather than upfront.

While Amazon is American, not all of its servers are hosted there - and it could cause a major incident if the US government were to take action against a company on the basis that it might be hosting material the government finds embarrassing.

But the US government would not be able to remove the diplomatic cables from the internet by ordering Amazon to take down the Wikileaks pages - partly because the cables are not hosted there: further digging shows that http://cablegate.wikileaks.org, where the documents are being held, is actually hosted by Octopuce, a French company.

The use of Amazon's EC2 is therefore more likely to be a convenient way of evading the DDOS attack. The pages that are hosted there do not appear to contain any of the sensitive information that the US government has been complaining about - meaning that it would have little legal cause to complain to Amazon.

Update: Alex Norcliffe points out that in fact the cables are being hosted - in part - on Amazon's US servers: "the cablegate.wikileaks.org site is most definitely using Amazon's west-coast datacentre in addition to Octopuce... The way this is done is by "DNS round-robin", and means that when asking for cablegate.wikileaks.org you might sometimes be directed to Octopuce and sometimes to Amazon. To verify this, you can see all the results of their DNS entry at http://www.whatsmydns.net/#A/cablegate.wikileaks.org - the 9x IP address is Octopuce, and the 2x IP address is Amazon's west-coast data centre."

Norcliffe says that the Wikileaks war logs were also hosted on Amazon EC2.

source: The Guardian

Fashion Yaa
2nd December 2010, 05:00 AM
Wow, fancy seeing this here, i swear i was gonna post review of this website right now lol.

Okay well, after all fanfare and big noise on NPR, KPFK, cable news and regular news, i decided to actually check out http://www.wikileaks.org/. its the same format as wikipedia and to some extend craigslist(a funny connection is that owners of wikipedia and craigslist once appeared together on Aljezeera with Riz Kahn and i thought wow both of them have the most simplistic websites no wonder they are friends hehe) anyway, i digress.....the website is not as boring as i thought it would be.

2nd December 2010, 09:38 AM
Yes Yaa. The butt of America is in fire. I believe in information sharing and transparency but i seriously do not see the benefit of these leaks other than to cause friction among nations. We all do and say crazy things we wouldn't otherwise do or say in public. And, why are they only targeting and releasing info of the US government? what about China, Russia and other crazy regimes?

2nd December 2010, 09:40 AM
Amazon just dropped them. Wikileaks is no longer being hosted by Amazon

Fashion Yaa
2nd December 2010, 12:40 PM
bingo, what about the plethora of African nations doing wrong shooottt FIFA or Olympic committee or The UN even.....I doubt he will get tried in Sweden though and if he does the world tribunals should have a say

Intellectual Pirate
2nd December 2010, 01:23 PM
Let me start by suggesting that the politicians and pundits calling for Julian Assange's head are playing into his hands. As all eyes track the international albino of mystery, the human and physical infrastructure of a much larger, more distributed movement continues to expand and consolidate far beyond the spotlight. If Mr Assange is murdered tomorrow, if WikiLeaks' servers are cut off for a few hours, or a few days, or forever, nothing fundamental is really changed. With or without WikiLeaks, the technology exists to allow whistleblowers to leak data and documents while maintaining anonymity. With or without WikiLeaks, the personel, technical know-how, and ideological will exists to enable anonymous leaking and to make this information available to the public. Jailing Thomas Edison in 1890 would not have darkened the night.

Yet the debate over WikiLeaks has proceeded as if the matter might conclude with the eradication of these kinds of data dumps—as if this is a temporary glitch in the system that can be fixed; as if this is a nuisance that can be made to go away with the application of sufficient government gusto. But I don't think the matter can end this way. Just as technology has made it easier for governments and corporations to snoop ever more invasively into the private lives of individuals, it has also made it easier for individuals, working alone or together, to root through and make off with the secret files of governments and corporations. WikiLeaks is simply an early manifestation of what I predict will be a more-or-less permanent feature of contemporary life, and a more-or-less permanent constraint on strategies of secret-keeping.

Consider what young Bradley Manning is alleged to have accomplished with a USB key on a military network. It was impossible 30 years ago to just waltz out of an office building with hundreds of thousands of sensitive files. The mountain of boxes would have weighed tons. Today, there are millions upon millions of government and corporate employees capable of downloading massive amounts of data onto tiny devices. The only way WikiLeaks-like exposés will stop is if those with the permissions necessary to access and copy sensitive data refuse to do so. But as long as some of those people retain a sense of right and wrong—even if it is only a tiny minority—these leaks and these scandals will continue.

The basic question is not whether we think Julian Assange is a terrorist or a hero. The basic question certainly is not whether we think exposing the chatter of the diplomatic corps helps or hinders their efforts, and whether this is a good or bad thing. To continue to focus on these questions is to miss the forest for the texture of the bark on a single elm. If we take the inevitability of future large leaks for granted, then I think the debate must eventually centre on the things that will determine the supply of leakers and leaks. Some of us wish to encourage in individuals the sense of justice which would embolden them to challenge the institutions that control our fate by bringing their secrets to light. Some of us wish to encourage in individuals ever greater fealty and submission to corporations and the state in order to protect the privileges and prerogatives of the powerful, lest their erosion threaten what David Brooks calls "the fragile community"—our current, comfortable dispensation.

Fashion Yaa
2nd December 2010, 06:24 PM
This can only mean a more potent technology will be set in place that prevents whistleblower from leaking POTENTIALLY harmful information. What good did it serve the young soldier Bradely to share the information in the long run.

My issue with wiki leaks is its sole based on volunteerism with no plan b in place for people like the young soldier(poor,limited resource, unrealistic superhero mentality). One name that we hear often when it comes to the creme de la creme of whistle blowers are DEEP THROAT or even Oluda Equiano or the man who released classified files that saw the end of the Vietnam war....with all of these a purpose was served and their efforts were in the end rooting out corruption.

For me it seems wikileaks could serve a greater purpose besides releasing emabrasing commical descriptions of world leaders. I mean seriously does me learning from classified info of USA that says Putin is a "top dog" root out his currpt ways or even that Berlosconi is making up for what he does not have below the belt by being a gigolo affect the trashing of Naples?

Wikileaks may as well be a glorified TMZ or any other gossip rag, cause as we all know National Enquirer aint going no where as long as we glorify celebrity.

The website makes for good reading and i like that they have a link to democracy now videos bravo. Much like Moore's Fareinheit 911 or even Gore's Inconvienient Truth served a purpose, i'd like to see wiki leaks do that, like you said, i have a feeling there will be other versions of wikileaks that will make shedding light on the truth much more important or worthwhile to stake your life in jail or life in exile.

3rd December 2010, 03:55 PM
I shudder to think what's going to happen next. After all TMZ put out loads of crap but in the end 99.9% of their stories are true. Wiki leak has been branded "a terrorist" for all we know they leaked the truth.

Fashion Yaa
7th December 2010, 12:27 PM
so true so true Mega. for all we know there aren't any whistleblowers. just genius hacking, thats what i truely believe.

7th December 2010, 03:03 PM
Yaa you have got me thinking. Good point. It may all be a huge hacking scam to sabotage the United States, with the whistle blowing premise being the pretext fuelling the delusion.