August 31, 2011 in Nation/World

Cyberattack crashes WikiLeaks

Associated Press
 

LONDON – The WikiLeaks website crashed Tuesday in an apparent cyberattack after the accelerated publication of tens of thousands of once-secret State Department cables by the anti-secrecy organization raised new concerns about the exposure of confidential U.S. embassy sources.

“WikiLeaks.org is presently under attack,” the group said on Twitter late Tuesday.

WikiLeaks updated its Twitter account to say that it was “still under a cyberattack” and directed followers to search for cables on a mirror site or a separate search system, cablegatesearch.net.

The apparent cyberattack comes after current and former American officials said the recently released cables – and concerns over the protection of sources – are creating a fresh source of diplomatic setbacks and embarrassment for the Obama administration.

The Associated Press reviewed more than 2,000 of the cables recently released by WikiLeaks. They contained the identities of more than 90 sources who had sought protection and whose names the cable authors had asked to protect.

Officials said the disclosure in the past week of more than 125,000 sensitive documents by WikiLeaks, far more than it had earlier published, further endangered informants and jeopardized U.S. foreign policy goals. The officials would not comment on the authenticity of the leaked documents but said the rate and method of the new releases, including about 50,000 in one day alone, presented new complications.

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