Last November 30, Wikileaks announced through Twitter that it was experiencing a massive distributed denial of service (DDOS) attack amounting to 10 Gigabits a second. DDOS attacks attempt to overwhelm network servers, with the goal of making the websites they support unavailable to web surfers.
Wikileaks is a whistleblower site that has once again made headlines for its leak of over a quarter million of sensitive American diplomatic cables. The website, ostensibly to protect itself from the DDOS, started transferring its operations from Swedish host PRQ to Amazon’s servers as early as last Sunday, November 28. While well-known for its online retail store, Amazon also leases out its own dedicated servers to other companies, under the Amazon Web Services (AWS) brand.
However, it was announced yesterday that Amazon has kicked Wikileaks off its servers. According to Mashable: “The move by Amazon comes after questioning from U.S. Senator Joe Lieberman, the chairman of the House Security Committee.” Lierberman himself characterized Amazon’s decision as “right” and “a standard for other companies Wikileaks is using to distribute its illegally seized material.”
Reports indicate that Amazon may have been worried its own servers from suffering from the effects of Wikileaks-related DDOS attacks. Yet Mashable has speculated that the action resulted from pressure applied by the US government. A sexual assault warrant for Wikileaks founder Julian Assange was issued yesterday.