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Wikileaks refuses to back, condemn Anonymous attacks

Wikileaks has responded to the distributed denial-of-service attacks targeting companies, such as Mastercard and PayPal, that stopped serving the whistleblower site.Spokesperson Kristinn Hrafnsson noted in a statement late on Wednesday that the DDoS attacks were similar to those made against Wikileaks itself since it started releasing thousands of leaked US diplomatic cables, but held back from taking an overt stance on the matter.
Written by David Meyer, Contributor on

Wikileaks has responded to the distributed denial-of-service attacks targeting companies, such as Mastercard and PayPal, that stopped serving the whistleblower site.

Spokesperson Kristinn Hrafnsson noted in a statement late on Wednesday that the DDoS attacks were similar to those made against Wikileaks itself since it started releasing thousands of leaked US diplomatic cables, but held back from taking an overt stance on the matter.

"We neither condemn nor applaud these attacks," Hrafnsson said. "We believe they are a reflection of public opinion on the actions of the targets."

The attacks, believed to be the work of the online collective Anonymous, have targeted Mastercard, PayPal, the Swedish prosecutor, State.gov and others. Since the statement was released, Visa has also been attacked. The targets have mostly suffered at least some disruption to services as a result.

Wikileaks stressed that Anonymous was "not affiliated" with the whistleblower site, which was founded by Julian Assange. "There has been no contact between any Wikileaks staffer and anyone at Anonymous," the statement read. "Wikileaks has not received any prior notice of any of Anonymous' actions."

After the cables began to emerge, Visa, Mastercard and PayPal all stopped allowing donations to Wikileaks to be made through their systems. Amazon Web Services (AWS) also received criticism for kicking Wikileaks off its servers, where the site had taken refuge after being DDoSed — Assange subsequently claimed Wikileaks knew it would be ejected from AWS's servers, and had only gone there to expose the service's lack of support for free speech.

On Thursday, it emerged that Amazon was selling an e-book of the very cables it had removed from its servers, allegedly due to the contravention of its terms of service.

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