Let me get started by saying I think Wikileaks is great, and that their work is invaluable. Background/context for this question: The recent Wikileaks data dump on the CIA. I've visited the site several times over the past few days and have read over it, and the site has been up every time.

Now obviously the CIA doesn't want this information out in the public domain. Additionally, certain governments would be unhappy with this information being out there. In light of this, how is it that the Wikileaks site is still up?

With the hacking capabilities of the CIA having been revealed, how has the site stayed up? Are they not trying to hack it? Why haven't other foreign powers hacked or DDoS attacked it in the past when it's posted information they didn't want public? Surely Wikileaks' security isn't THAT impervious. Or are they just not being attacked?

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    Keep in mind that Assange is himself a computer expert, writing deniable encryption for wikileaks. Look up his handle Mendex
    – J.A.K.
    Mar 9 '17 at 0:05
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    @J.A.K. Keep in mind that the CIA could, for example, inject "voluntary" developers into open-source projects for the only goal to kill that site.
    – peterh
    Mar 9 '17 at 0:08
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    Well DDoS can be prevented by techniques like Cloudflare does, using Anycast with servers all around the world, so maybe if you can't see a DDoS doesn't mean it's not happening. They've hold up to 65Gbps DDos attacks
    – Azteca
    Mar 9 '17 at 0:09
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    @J.A.K. They could also inject material into the site which could discredit them.
    – peterh
    Mar 9 '17 at 0:09
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    @Azteca Wow, that's pretty impressive. Gonna go switch all my site's code sources for stuff like jQuery and AngularJS to cloudflare. TX Mar 9 '17 at 0:10

Why haven't other foreign powers hacked or DDoS attacked it in the past when it posted information they didn't want public?

Attacking the Wikileaks website to withhold information is ineffective. The site's availability is just not crucial for making the leaks public.

Instead of only hosting the documents centralized on their web servers, Wikileaks follows a different publication approach. Take the latest Vault 7 leak as an example: The documents were first released as an encrypted torrent file, and the key was only made public one day later. Without revealing what the content actually was, Wikileaks made it less likely that someone would interfere with the publication. Furthermore, that made it possible to download the documents without incriminating yourself - because at the time of the release, you wouldn't know that posessing contents of the file might be illegal. Also note that despite being declared the "largest ever publication of confidential documents on the CIA" (8,761 documents), the torrent is just over 500 MB in size that can be quickly shared across the Internet. And even with an ongoing DDoS attack, it would just be a matter of mailing USB sticks to selected journalists. After all, most people read about the leaks in the news rather than searching the archive.

That said, there were indeed lots of DDoS attacks against Wikileaks in the past years. That's why during the attacks around 2010, volunteers have set up hundreds of mirror sites. But today's attacks are more likely a botnet power demonstration rather than a targeted operation to suppress releases.

  • There are also tons of mirrors, on clearnet http, ftp, freenet, etc. Mar 9 '17 at 3:37

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