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Huge Interest Brings Wikileaks Offline 163

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the yet-drudge-still-stands dept.
DragonFire1024 writes "Wikinews.org — The Wikileaks website, which publishes sensitive and censored material submitted by anonymous contributors, has experienced unprecedented levels of Internet traffic today through public interest. This interest has caused the website's servers to be unable to meet the enormous demand of over 164 gigabytes of download traffic within twenty-four hours, leading the site to be temporarily inaccessible."
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Huge Interest Brings Wikileaks Offline

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  • I predict many conspiracy theories in the future regarding the maintainers of this site. Assasinations, bribes, etc.
    • by Vexorian (959249)
      That's quite a conspiracy theory.
      • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

        by Ryukotsusei (1164453)
        DDoS anyone?
      • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

        by Anonymous Coward

        No, no, you're all wrong.

        Notice that wikileaks is up right now? Wikileaks hasn't even gone down yet. Taco is attempting to ddos the wikileaks servers by conjuring up the ./ effect.

        It's obvious that he's being pressured by the CIA to bring down the servers in order to stop the proliferation of leaked patent documents concerning the atomic bomb.

  • Is there any organization effort to automatically mirror the contents of Wikileaks on Freenet?
    • Re:Freenet? (Score:4, Informative)

      by FreenetFan (1182901) on Saturday March 29, 2008 @11:18AM (#22904960) Homepage
      There is some ad-hoc mirroring of Wikileaks onto Freenet. Recently, images from the protests in Tibet, and the leaked documents from the Julius Baer bank were put there.

      According to http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikileaks#Technology [wikipedia.org] :
      "Wikileaks is based on several software packages, including MediaWiki, Freenet, Tor, and PGP."

      No-one involved with the Freenet project knows exactly how it uses Freenet; it certainly doesn't seem to be an official partnership.

      Freenet is ideally suited to this kind of thing: freesites (Freenet's equivalent of websites) are fairly quick to retrieve and tend to stay in the network long-term. And of course, creating and reading them is totally anonymous and uncensorable.

      There has been a lot of work done recently into making the Freenet installation process as easy as possible, and an official release of Freenet 0.7 is due in the next few weeks, so watch this space.
  • by jollyreaper (513215) on Saturday March 29, 2008 @09:04AM (#22904156)

    This interest has caused the website's servers to be unable to meet the enormous demand of over 164 gigabytes of download traffic within twenty-four hours, leading the site to be temporarily inaccessible."
    And so you post the story to slashdot with a link to the site in the summary. Why don't you give 'em papercut and pour lemon juice in, too?
    • by wvmarle (1070040)

      This interest has caused the website's servers to be unable to meet the enormous demand of over 164 gigabytes of download traffic within twenty-four hours, leading the site to be temporarily inaccessible."

      And so you post the story to slashdot with a link to the site in the summary. Why don't you give 'em papercut and pour lemon juice in, too?

      I was thinking EXACTLY the same. But the site is still up so it seems they have done something about it.
      OTOH, it seems it was because they put the video Fitna on their site and that draw all the traffic. The /. summary links to a text only page so byte traffic should be relatively light.

      No matter what, good for them, more publicity for their cause.

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward
      Wikinews is not Wikileaks... This article links to Wikinews article about Wikileaks incident. There is no link to Wikileaks.
    • by dubz (1006283)
      I miss those "slashdotted, biatch!" comments so much.

      -Yousuf

  • Yea -_- I haven't RTFA yet but from summary I get the impression that Botnets started to cooperate with Baer or whatever else organization got pissed off.
  • coral cache (Score:3, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday March 29, 2008 @09:05AM (#22904160)
    This link bypasses DNS poisoning and uses a caching proxy to take the load off Wikileaks servers: http://88.80.13.160.nyud.net:8080/wiki/Wikileaks [nyud.net]
  • by Pig Hogger (10379) <pig.hogger@NoSpAM.gmail.com> on Saturday March 29, 2008 @09:06AM (#22904166) Journal
    It must be the operating thethans(TM) of the church of $cientology® who DDOSed it following the "leak" of their "holy" (as in "full of holes") "scriptures"...
    • Maybe they DDOSed themselves so they could make the Scilons look bad
    • What Wikileaks posted wasn't the cult secrets. It was hundreds of pages of documents from a member, documenting internal policies and practices by the cult. The big cult secrets have been available in magazine articles, in numerous exposes (such as the Scandal of Scientology by Paulette Cooper), and in court documents for years. Wikileaks publication made clear copies of the cult's insane internal politics and harassment policies crystal clear, in a newly available set of documents.

      The cult has tried to do
  • A server over http appears the wrong tool for this job. It's subject to a variety of forms of denial of service. Freenet, or another distributed database, that shares the load and precludes a single point of failure, would be a better option.

  • Server move (Score:5, Informative)

    by cyxs (242710) on Saturday March 29, 2008 @09:16AM (#22904228)
    wikileak.org [wikileak.org] says that its being moved not offline due to demand.

    WikiLeakS.org seems to be down for maintenance and upgrades at the PRQ Internet hosting facility in Stockholm, Sweden
  • How ironic... (Score:2, Insightful)

    I guess the gist of the current Fitna debacle is that "Islam is a religion of peace and we'll kill everyone who doesn't think so". You know what is the worst possible reaction to this? Tolerance. You cannot be tolerant if someone threatens you with violence if you don't comform to his point of view. Taking the video down from a lot of sites in order to avoid violence is understandable if done due to fear, but collectively we, as society cannot be afraid from some archaic religious madmen.

    So, if you're afr
    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by xtracto (837672)
      I just saw the video (downloaded from Wikileaks), and I can tell you that from what I saw there, and from what I have read, it seems to me that Islam is a really fucked up religion. And this time I mean the religion, not the church. The religion is what? 300 hundred years old? still thinking in stoning women for prostitution or whatnot?

      As you said, you just can not "solve" the differences between Islam believers and the western society. Because for them, solving means that all of us convert to Islam. Some p
      • by argiedot (1035754)

        Full Disclosure: My mother is a Muslim.

        300 years?! A cursory glance at history would seem that that's very young for a religion. Nevertheless, stoning women and all that bullshit is because some people are incapable of thinking for themselves and taking only the best parts of their religious book.

      • Re:How ironic... (Score:4, Insightful)

        by Alain Williams (2972) <addw@phcomp.co.uk> on Saturday March 29, 2008 @10:31AM (#22904654) Homepage

        The religion is what? 300 hundred years old?
        More like 1500 years. But that is not the point.

        Whereas I do not doubt that everything shown in the film has happened, I do think that it is highly selective; someone trying to stir up trouble against Muslims.

        There are people on both sides of this who are stirring the pot. I do not think that most muslims are seeking Jihad, however some are. I don't know enough about it. It is an error to put all muslims into one group, there are many different sects with different views, some benign, some not so.

        Whatever you do: don't take everything at face value.

      • Re: (Score:1, Insightful)

        by Anonymous Coward
        How about this? I have a degree in religion with my main focus on Islam. I think my view that the majority of Islam isn't violent is a bit more legitimate than you seeing one video and making a conclusion. I have decades of research on my side. At what institution did you do your research?
        • How about this? All religions are for weak minded people. People who feel the need to be part of a group, a group that tells them how to behave and explains the rewards for their behaviour. All religions are laughable.
        • by Fatalis (892735)
          how about this? someone's lying on the internet to make their claims seem more authoritative. yeah, I know, that could never happen
      • by chrb (1083577)

        I just saw the video (downloaded from Wikileaks), and I can tell you that from what I saw there, and from what I have read, it seems to me that Islam is a really fucked up religion. And this time I mean the religion, not the church.

        People like you said the same thing about Judaism 70 years ago, and look how that turned out...

    • by RinzeWind (413873)
      To avoid melting servers, I've been distributing the magnet URI [magnet] for a copy of the video (in English).
    • by Idaho (12907)

      So, if you're afraid, but only slightly, please rehost the video. Anyone got a link to it so that I can mirror it on my own site?

      Try thepiratebay.org and search for 'fitna', you'll find plenty of mirrors - and a lot of people are seeding it, too.

      It's also still available on google video [google.com], but you'd have to rip the stream if you want to rehost it I guess.

  • by Sara Chan (138144) on Saturday March 29, 2008 @09:20AM (#22904248)
    The increase in interest on Wikileaks is largely due to hosting the anti-Islam film Fitna [wikipedia.org]. The film was moved to Google Video—
    http://video.google.com/googleplayer.swf?docId=3369102968312745410 [google.com]

    —after Islamists told Wikileaks that they would be killed for hosting the film.
    • by Sara Chan (138144)
      Oops, it looks like I was confusing Wikileaks with Liveleaks. Sorry about that.
    • Not offtopic (Score:4, Insightful)

      by Cheesey (70139) on Saturday March 29, 2008 @10:02AM (#22904462)
      This is exactly why Wikileaks was offline. The whole story is about Fitna. Basically, the Wikileaks admins got death threats and had to take the video offline, replacing it with an apology about having to put staff safety before freedom of speech. Later, the site might have been taken down by the increased traffic, but by that time Fitna was already on Google Video and Youtube, so it was way too late to stop people seeing it.

      I think the Slashdot editors might have been looking for a story about Fitna that doesn't explicitly mention Fitna in the summary, since they no doubt wish to avoid getting some death threats of their own.
      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by Cheesey (70139)
        Looks like I have also been confused by the difference between Liveleak (originally hosted the video, removed it after death threats) and Wikileaks (which ran out of bandwidth). D'oh.
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by dubz (1006283)

      --after Islamists told Wikileaks that they would be killed for hosting the film.

      Most users of Slashdot are intelligent enough to know the difference between Muslim and Islamist/Islamic Activist. However, the distinction is not as well understood among the general populations of both the Western and non-Western worlds. That's the sad part of it all. The resulting misconceptions about and misinterpretations of Islam are the cause of most of the violent and non-violent extremism shown by both sides.

      For those who care to know, the term Islamist, when used in such a context, is generally a

      • Re: (Score:1, Interesting)

        by mixmatch (957776)

        For those who care to know, the term Islamist, when used in such a context, is generally accepted to refer to religious activists. Most of these activists claim to be Muslims yet do not act according to the laws of Islam. Now you people out there could either help educate misguided Muslims and misinformed non-Muslims in this regard, or you could go on talking stuff about Islam that has nothing to do with the religion and cannot be found anywhere in its authenticated texts.

        -Yousuf

        I don't know what exactly you mean by the term "you people", but if you are referring to us non-Muslims, I'm quite confused. Are you saying we should be telling "misguided Muslims" about their own religion and what it does and does not teach? How is that even possible when I don't know Arabic and therefore am not worthy to even know what is in its "authenticated texts"? I'm not trying to inflame, but I would also genuinely like to know why such a peaceful and non-contentious religion, such as can be found

        • It actually has nothing to do with a Muslim/Christian divide; I was thinking that for a while but then I heard a professor at Berkeley who pointed out that people will always find some reason to divide themselves from others; it wasn't so long ago that Christian Catholics and Christian Protestants were killing each other.

          The problem is that the middle east is still halfway in the middle ages, a place where it's ok to assassinate your political opponents, completely destroy those you don't like, and domina
      • However, the distinction is not as well understood among the general populations of both the Western and non-Western worlds. That's the sad part of it all. The resulting misconceptions about and misinterpretations of [any religion] are the cause of most of the violent and non-violent extremism shown by both sides.

        I think the claimed distiction is more widely understood than your realise, the better informed choose to reject that distiction for a wholly different reason to that you imply.

        They understand ther
    • by jambarama (784670)
      As I understand it, the traffic was mostly for files hosted on the site, not general site traffic. Both the Fitna and Scientology OT leaks were in huge demand. However, why not just use bittorrent to host files like that? This is almost literally the situation bittorrent was designed for - wikileaks could set up their own tracker for their own files without too much trouble.
    • by x1n933k (966581)

      --after Islamists told Wikileaks that they would be killed for hosting the film.


      Where did you get that information, or is that just you being prejudice?
    • by surfcow (169572)
      > --after Islamists told Wikileaks that they would be killed for hosting the film.

      How dare you tell people we are capable of violent indignation?
  • http://corner.nationalreview.com/post/?q=ZjMyZTQ5YmQwNjhmZGZlYjJiNGM2OTJjNDFkOTFkODg= [nationalreview.com]National Review Online & Steyn covered this bit of Fascism quite well.

    BTW - trackers still have it on PirateBay and elsewhere in hi-def.

  • wikileaks.org works for me as of 3/29/08, 9:30AM. So I looked at the story on wikinews. It lists NO DATES that wikileaks.org was allegedly offline. I call bullshit. I say it was never offline due to high traffic, it is merely wishful thinking on their part, an attempt to get everyone to look to see if it is, in fact, offline.
  • by garett_spencley (193892) on Saturday March 29, 2008 @09:33AM (#22904320) Journal
    Those damned bankers will get you every time. You really have to go over your loan agreements and read all the fine print carefully.

    R.I.P Wikileaks :(

    May you pay off your debt and rise once again.
  • Is "164 gigabytes of download traffic within twenty-four hours" so huge?

    Correct me if I'm wrong, but it's only about 2MB/s on average, which shouldn't scare any decent web-server.
    Sure enough, 2MB/s on average means bursts to some dozens of MB/s.... but what is the amount of data Slashdot has to deliver every day?
    • The tubes were leaking!
    • You are correct, my math ended up at 16 megabits/sec which is the same as 2MB/s. You are also correct that it's not a "huge" amount of traffic; it's less than half of a DS-3. Depending on the content you might need a couple servers to serve it up with reasonable speed but it's really not that much for a decent website.
      • by onepoint (301486)
        Your statement " You are also correct that it's not a "huge" amount of traffic; it's less than half of a DS-3." is correct the problem is not on the delivery to the exit port, it's the i/o road to the port, most problems that I have encountered were drive bottlenecks.

        a good cache systems helps but you still need a lot of tuning to get it right, I am sure that this site is not a professional site but something that was put together without thinking of large, scalable deployment.
  • of course it's offline! you just slashdotted it!
  • by blake1 (1148613) on Saturday March 29, 2008 @09:49AM (#22904388)
    Tom Cruise is so pissed right now.. sitting at home with 100 IE windows open hitting Refresh All Tabs.
  • Big news (Score:3, Funny)

    by buchner.johannes (1139593) on Saturday March 29, 2008 @10:05AM (#22904492) Homepage Journal
    Wikileaks is offline ... let's all go there to see if it is really offline :-|
  • That works out to an average of 14.8mbit/s. That's not enormous. That's not even huge, or a lot. Downstream you get that kind of bandwidth on customer-grade ADSL2 connections (though upstream would be more expensive at home -- but then again, you don't host servers at home usually).
  • Surely somebody has put this stuff on a p2p network somewhere. Does anyone have links to it?
  • 164GB:day is only about 5TB:month. I pay $100 per month for up to 2TB. I could pay $400 for 5TB:mo on a single server, or $300 for 6TB on 3 servers, which would be cheaper and more redundantly reliable. $3-400 a month isn't very much for such a site, that also clearly has lots of expensive lawyers working to protect it. Even if they're not paying for the lawyers, those kinds of operations make a $400:mo expense look like chicken feed.

    No, this outage is more likely the result of shortsighted planning. Either
  • by DrHanser (845654) on Saturday March 29, 2008 @10:26AM (#22904626) Homepage

    Got slashdotted a few years ago when I was hosting Beethoven's symphonies [slashdot.org] that the BBC had made available for download.

    ~167GB in 5 hours. More here [polyscience.org]. The MRTG graphs are fun:

    The sheer volume of traffic in GB for wikileaks doesn't seem terribly surprising. Rather, I suspect it is the dynamic nature of the website that brought it down. Simple filehosting doesn't take much in terms of resources provided your pipe is fat enough. Dynamic content, OTOH, does. I suspect they'll need to tweak/implement a caching system to mitigate this problem going forward.

  • A DDoS is a deliberately malicious attempt to harm a website. What happened to wikileaks is just that they RanOutofBandwidthDamnit, so can we start calling it ROBD from now on, huh?
  • I think torrenting the movie is the best solution for large files. Switching their servers to Lighttpd would be a huge help as well (if they are on Apache or another slower HTTP daemon), but that certainly would not affect a bandwidth issue.
  • There was a protocol or system which could distribute news to millions of people without causing undue load on the originating servers.
     
  • and we just added a Slashdot effect :p Go Wikileaks!
  • Huge Interest Brings Wikileaks Offline

    How about "drives"?

    Also, it's not the interest that drove them offline, but the traffic. So maybe, "Massive Traffic Drives Wikileaks Offline."

  • Wikileaks is back up. I've seen "Fitna"; it looks like a YouTube mashup, zooms over stills and all. There's little original footage.

    A much better comment on militant Islamic types, The Burqa Project [google.com], is down, though. That's a delightful little piece from 2005 showing three French models running around Paris in flowing, see-through burgas. Google still has thumbnails up, but the video site is now password protected.

    As Heinlein liked to point out, religion needs a good belly-laugh once in a while.

  • Pfft, Wikileaks (Score:5, Informative)

    by Hemogoblin (982564) on Saturday March 29, 2008 @11:55AM (#22905184)
    I've completely lost confidence in Wikileak's ability to report anything accuractely, since they ran that terrible JP Morgan Chase Tax story. It was wrong on practically every important point, which was pointed out here on Slashdot by me and others [slashdot.org]. I figured, "Hey it's a wiki; I should fix the errors", [slashdot.org] but admin-abuse kept the original story locked. If they can be so horribly wrong on one topic, why should we trust them regarding anything else?
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by NeutronCowboy (896098)
      What the hell? WikiLeaks reports NOTHING. They have no reporters. There is barely any fact-checking - as a matter of fact, due to the nature of the business (leaks of secret documents), it is damn near impossible to do any independent fact checking.

      WikiLeaks is awesome as it is - a place where anyone can put up any document, free of any fear that they might be tracked down. Why you think that that makes anything true on there, I have no idea. Seriously. Were you born just yesterday?
      • If you can't trust a thing on the site, why bother reading it?

        I don't think you're right about the philosphy of Wikileaks either; it's not just "a place to put up any document". The Wikileaks "editors" are trying to build credibility and integrity. From the "Writer's Kit" [wikileaks.org] section, they want to "understand the document, summarize and explain, question veracity and motives, cite references, and make conclusions supported by facts". I'm arguing that they're failing miserably, as shown by the JP Morgan article.
      • by bwalling (195998)

        WikiLeaks is awesome as it is - a place where anyone can put up any document, free of any fear that they might be tracked down. Why you think that that makes anything true on there, I have no idea. Seriously. Were you born just yesterday?

        Explain to me how something that is so unreliable that you ridicule someone for believing anything on it also "awesome" for the fact that people can anonymously release information on it? If it's completely unreliable, then it's completely useless.

        • Explain to me how something that is so unreliable

          Wikileaks is not a reliable online newspaper, because it is NOT a newspaper. As an anonymous mail box, it's pretty reliable, because that's its purpose (at least, that's my assumption, I could be wrong on that point).

          If it's completely unreliable, then it's completely useless.

          Once again, reliability for what purpose? Something that's completely unreliable for one purpose, may be completely reliable for another.

  • It's about 15.2 megabits per seconds, very easily in range of single server. What's the fuzz?
  • Just got to the site, it appears they're hosting a bunch of pics from Tibet of people who've been killed by chinese forces. I'm thinking DDOS is becoming more and more of a liklihood.
    • I agree with you. China has a very large force of people working to hack the world. This is a well known fact. Let's just hope the NSA is smart enough to be watching right now and observing how they're doing whatever they're doing. I'd be surprised if it were just a simple DDOS since wikileaks could clearly identify that as an attack.
      • by scubamage (727538)
        Very true.. I think a lot of it has to do with China hosting ther Olympics, they have to put themselves across to the world as awesome because they want the money, and its a great PR stunt.
  • "Interest"? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Arancaytar (966377) <arancaytar.ilyaran@gmail.com> on Saturday March 29, 2008 @03:24PM (#22906454) Homepage
    There are almost as many people who don't want Wikileaks online as people who want to see it - and the former are vastly more powerful.

    Surely the possibility that this is an attack rather than "interest" has crossed some people's minds? And if there is strong evidence that it isn't, why the hell isn't that evidence in the summary?
  • ... excessive interest, and not a DOS attack? For that matter, when a page gets Slashdoted or Farked, but not DOSed, what's the difference? How do we really determine intent?
  • "Wikileaks is down from too much traffic. Here, let me link to it from the frontpage of slashdot, that'll help!"
  • Isn't there a system that allows distributed content distribution, where, rather than a site being served by a single server, the same site can be served by a number of different servers? Preferably with participants in the system automagically becoming servers when demand increases? Sort of like Bittorrent, where more downloaders means more uploaders?

    If not, we should probably start creating such a system. Sites like Wikipedia and Wikileaks seem to survive without it - but with lots of headaches about fund

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