Russia Today hit by DDoS as anti-Wikileaks group claims responsibility

Russia Today hit by DDoS as anti-Wikileaks group claims responsibility

Summary: The Kremlin-funded channel, which featured Julian Assange as a talk-show host, says it has come under denial-of-service attack. Antileaks says it's responsible, but the timing could more to do with the Pussy Riot verdict than Wikileaks.

TOPICS: Security, Censorship

The website of the Kremlin-funded news network Russia Today has been hit with a denial-of-service attack that some have linked with the station's support for Wikileaks founder Julian Assange, and others with the impending Pussy Riot verdict.

Russia Today website
The anti-Wikileaks group 'Antileaks' has claimed responsibility for a DDoS attack on the Russia Today website.

The English-language Russia Today (RT) tweeted on Friday morning that its hosting provider had confirmed was "under DDoS attack". An anti-Wikileaks group subsequently claimed responsibility, but there is as yet no proof of this connection. It is notable that Friday is the day when a Russian court will decide the fate of three members of the punk protest band Pussy Riot, which has been very critical of Vladimir Putin.

RT's tweet came through at 8:12am. Around 20 minutes later, Antileaks tweeted that it was responsible for the DDoS, and attached a hashtag supporting Pussy Riot. The Wikileaks account then went on to condemn the attack, suggesting that it was connected with RT's support of Assange, rather than the punk band.

Assange, who faces extradition from the UK to Sweden to face questioning over sexual assault allegations, had a chat show on RT, with one of his guests having been Ecuadorian president Rafael Correa.

Correa granted Assange diplomatic asylum on Thursday. However, that move has so far had a limited effect, since the UK does not recognise that type of asylum and Assange cannot get safe passage to an airport.

RT is a strong supporter of Assange, but it is also a supporter of the Russian leader. Many free-speech advocates are incensed at the likelihood of the Pussy Riot members facing jail time for playing an anti-Putin song in a church.

Topics: Security, Censorship

David Meyer

About David Meyer

David Meyer is a freelance technology journalist. He fell into journalism when he realised his musical career wouldn't pay the bills. David's main focus is on communications, as well as internet technologies, regulation and mobile devices.

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  • DDoS

    The attack could also have something to do with an article RT published quoting a former CIA agent.

    See my Op-Ed here
    Anne Sewell
    • Antileaks

      This group is obviously a US defense funded batch of techno-warriors playing the same games that Anonymous does, only with the blessings of the DoD. First Wiki-leaks, then RT, next up: anyone else with political views that are critical of the United States that is successful in spreading their views. That is one great way around freedom of speech. It will be interesting to see how long it takes for a US based website to suffer this fate.
      Deet LaPedite