WikiLeaks hit by sustained DDoS over surveillance leaks

It’s been a while since we heard anything big from WikiLeaks, but things seem to be heating up again. The site has been under a sustained DDoS attack for the last week or so, apparently by a group of self-described ‘young adult citizens of the USA,’ after it released a trove of emails regarding an unprecedented surveillance system known as TrapWire.

The emails, which are part of ‘The Global Intelligence Files’ from Stratfor that WikiLeaks has been publishing since February, involve a sophisticated surveillance system called TrapWire, designed by a private firm known as Abraxas, which sounds like it would fit right into Deus Ex. The name alone is practically gold for conspiracy theorists, but that’s beside the point.

Getting back to the technological side of things, besides discussing different ways of tormenting Julian Assange and containing a level of unprofessionalism and sheer incompetence previously unheard of outside of Neowin, the emails discuss a project known as TrapWire. Just as WikiLeaks was on the verge of revealing the system, the site went dark, receiving as over 40 gigs of traffic every second, and it wasn’t long before a group known as AntiLeaks took credit for DDoSing the site:

You can call me DietPepsi. I am the leader of AntiLeaks. We are not doing this to call attention to ourselves. We are young adults, citizens of the United States of America
and are deeply concerned about the recent developments with Julian Assange and his attempt at aslyum in Ecuador.

Assange is the head of a new breed of terrorist. We are doing this as a protest against his attempt to escape justice into Ecuador. This would be a catalyst for many more like him to rise up in his place. We will not stop and they will not stop us.

Unsurprisingly, that hilariously awful message gave plenty of people a laugh, while more than a few redditors were convinced that the attack was an attempt by the US Government to keep any more of their secrets from getting out. Obviously, that didn’t work, and anyone with a brain could have predicted that DDoSing WikiLeaks would do nothing but generate more attention.

Regardless of who’s behind the attack, the contents of the emails are interesting, to say the least. If you can get past the terrible grammar and weird code words, the emails are a little bit disconcerting to anyone who values their privacy. We try to keep away from the tin-foil hats here at Neowin, so we’re just gonna give you an idea of what the emails themselves say.

As best as we can tell, TrapWire is an ‘intuitive video surveillance’ system that takes advantage of highly sophisticated facial recognition software, surveillance cameras, and AI to spot terrorists and other ‘suspicious’ happenings. The system is deployed across most major US cities (some of the emails even mention international locations, like the UK), and gets funneled back to a central location which interprets what’s going on and sends that information back to law enforcement.

There are plans for implementation of the system beyond the ‘national security’ level, too; one email, which provides a nice summary of the whole system, ends with a note stating that TrapWire could be a ‘very effective [tool] in identifying general street crime as well.” Another email mentions potential uses against political activists.

So, what do you think? So long as you’re not a terrorist or some other form of baddie, you shouldn’t have anything to worry about, right? Maybe, but then again, ‘national security’ operations don’t exactly have the best record when it comes to abiding by the law and not invading the lives of private citizens. We’d love to hear your thoughts on TrapWire, and on the DDoS attack against WikiLeaks.

Via: Reason
Source: RT
Digital Eye image by Shutterstock

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32 Comments

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So these "anonymous hackers" are protesting the shutdown of a system that will be part of a larger system meant to do away with anonymity?

Dear US government, you're not fooling anyone.

So let me get this right. Its OK for the GOV to do DDoS attacks on sites like wikileaks. But when Anon does DDoS attacks it's illegal.

You know when I say? I say FU GOV.

. When the people fear their government, there is tyranny; when the government fears the people, there is liberty. ~ Thomas Jefferson

In their eyes, we're all terrorists so long as we loathe what the government does to us, this country, and even this planet.

They'd be fine with having us all mind controlled. In fact, it'd be a world of bliss to them.

WikiLeaks defines human rights. We need sites like it and it sure as hell isn't going away no matter what anyone attempts to do to it.

ill just rofl to any1 believing this message

Hello
You can call me DietPepsi. I am the leader of AntiLeaks. We are not doing this to call attention to ourselves.
We are old companies, located at United States of America, we control politicians to fund us so they can hire us to make wars to countries that make deals with other companies and then hire us again to buy all the national companies from that country for a tiny from wt they are worth overprice everything so we make billions or more in a glintch of time and afterwards the middle and poor ppl die cuz they are stupid cuz they dont have money

also we kill any oppresion like political activists after we name them terrorists

With Love
Capitalism"

i think thats what they wanted to say about
sorry for my bad english

Freedom is good even if there are bad examples.
Yeah maybe a secret gov. defense project might get leaked
but does that mean ALL leaks should be banned ?

Should toothbrushes be banned because convicts sharpen
them up in jail and use them as weapons ?

Should the The Pirate Bay be banned because someone could
potentially find a link to pirated content ?

Freedom first .

SPEhosting said,
I think wikileaks is a good thing... the government should have no secrets from the people... NONE

Well, I don't think the public needs to have nuclear launch keys or anything, but policy wise, and anything that could remotely affect private citizens? I'm with you on that.

SPEhosting said,
I think wikileaks is a good thing... the government should have no secrets from the people... NONE

Be glad there are things that ARE secret - I used to have a security clearance, and some things that our adversaries had gotten up to (such as Iraq while Saddam was still in power, or the days before the Soviet Union fell) caused ME many a sleepless night. there's an old proverb that those that cheer on WL (and Assange himself) should keep in mind - there ARE those that take a far dimmer (and grimmer) view of having their secrets spilt than even the United States.

PGHammer said,

Be glad there are things that ARE secret - I used to have a security clearance, and some things that our adversaries had gotten up to (such as Iraq while Saddam was still in power, or the days before the Soviet Union fell) caused ME many a sleepless night. there's an old proverb that those that cheer on WL (and Assange himself) should keep in mind - there ARE those that take a far dimmer (and grimmer) view of having their secrets spilt than even the United States.

oh I dont need clearence to know alot of things my family used to be an army family and I have friends in US and english army ect there is a lot of things done but I think people should be allowed to know... the onyl reason its kept secret is so people can have their second term in office

"As best as we can tell, TrapWire is an ‘intuitive video surveillance' system that takes advantage of highly sophisticated facial recognition software, surveillance cameras, and AI to spot terrorists and other ‘suspicious' happenings. "

Person of Interest was an excellent tv show.

it's just funny that Stratfor, a government intelligence contractor, cant even secure their own $hit. Extremely lame and I for one am glad they keep getting lambasted.

Sustained DDoS' are illegal............ unless the United States does it...apparently.

Young adults of the USA... wow what a terrible cover... dietpepsi? Give me a break guys, go back to the conference table and come up with a better alias, or hire someone with an imagination.

Anyway, it's the US Government guys, not a group of young vigilantes. They're trying to protects secrets being leaked out by Wikileaks because it could be damaging to the administration, and the US Department of Defense. You know when a bunch of 40 to 50 somethings come up with a alias, it's called dietpepsi.. -facepalm-

Edited by Azies, Aug 11 2012, 3:27pm :

Azies said,
Sustained DDoS' are illegal............ unless the United States does it...apparently.

Young adults of the USA... wow what a terrible cover... dietpepsi? Give me a break guys, go back to the conference table and come up with a better alias, or hire someone with an imagination.

Anyway, it's the US Government guys, not a group of young vigilantes. They're trying to protects secrets being leaked out by Wikileaks because it could be damaging to the administration, and the US Department of Defense. You know when a bunch of 40 to 50 somethings come up with a alias, it's called dietpepsi.. -facepalm-

LOL... yeah they think they can trick people that "DietPepsi" is geeky... they fail in trying to be a geek

Krome said,
LOL... yeah they think they can trick people that "DietPepsi" is geeky... they fail in trying to be a geek

Has to be a government job, who else has the bandwith available to produce 40gig a second of traffic? Either that or its a well organised group with a moron doing their PR. if its a group how many systems must be in their bot net?

I'm so disappointed in America. Hackers and tech geeks are usually not so dense.. That statement reads like it is the government hiding its lies. We are in a war against terrorism... So now it seems we have to bomb ourselfs lol

netsendjoe said,
I heard about this also from Alex Jones

kind of reminds me about this push for the cyber security bill he spoke about

There's that patriotism that they indoctrinate from childbirth showing it's ugly teeth. I think US citizens have the right to know how badly they're potentially being snooped on.

Javik said,
There's that patriotism that they indoctrinate from childbirth showing it's ugly teeth. I think US citizens have the right to know how badly they're potentially being snooped on.

Blind acceptance of everything the government is the antithesis of patriotism. Patriotism is admiration of ideas.

Hmmm so this is Americas plan to stop *lies*? Get a bunch of redneck brainwashed boy scouts that say they fighting for our rights? Hey DietPepsi if you are reading this you are a retard! You are not helping us! We have the right to know about a lot of things that are happening. DietPepsi let me guess you still believe that Iraq had WMDs?

"containing a level of unprofessionalism and sheer incompetence previously unheard of outside of Neowin"

Beautiful


You can call me DietPepsi. I am the leader of AntiLeaks. We are not doing this to call attention to ourselves. We are young adults, citizens of the United States of America

Why am I incredulous of that statement? I'm more inclined to believe that it's a US government funded group.

simplezz said,

Why am I incredulous of that statement? I'm more inclined to believe that it's a US government funded group.

The way to tell... see how hard the US government goes after this group... and if anyone is ever brought to court/trial.

simplezz said,

Why am I incredulous of that statement? I'm more inclined to believe that it's a US government funded group.


Im not all for releasing secret documents to the public either. Allot is often secret not for ourselves, but for our friends like China, Russia, Iran etc.

Shadowzz said,

Im not all for releasing secret documents to the public either. Allot is often secret not for ourselves, but for our friends like China, Russia, Iran etc.

For some things, sure. But when it affects American citizens? There is no excuse for hiding that - the government is the *servant* of the people, not the other way around.

simplezz said,

Why am I incredulous of that statement? I'm more inclined to believe that it's a US government funded group.
Proof. DietPepsi.