Last week, on Friday, Wikipedia went down in several countries after being hit with a malicious DDOS attack. The Wikimedia Foundation later confirmed the incident, and started investigating. Soon after, Wikipedia resumed working in many countries. However, days later, there still hasn't been any confirmation from the non-profit regarding the attack being completely addressed and put to bed.
Now, in a rather interesting move with regards to its timing, Wikimedia has announced the receiving of $2.5 million in support from Craig Newmark Philanthropies. The donation from the Craigslist founder's foundation comes in order to help Wikimedia protect its projects and volunteers from cyberthreats.
John Bennett, Director of Security at the Wikimedia Foundation, commented on the need for the investment in the following manner:
"Wikipedia's continued success as a top-10 website that has hundreds of millions of users makes it a target for vandalism, hacking, and other cybersecurity threats that harm the free knowledge movement and community. That's why we are working proactively to combat problems before they arise. This investment will allow us to further expand our security programs to identify current and future threats, create effective countermeasures, and improve our overall security controls."
The philanthropic investment will help provide safe and secure access to the organization's services, including Wikipedia. Moreover, the non-profit also pointed out that future attacks like the one carried out last week could be better mitigated as a result of this donation. Essentially, the foundation's security team will now be able to improve on its cyberthreat-combating services, which include application security, risk management, incident response, and more.
With this investment, we'll be able to better mitigate attacks like these in the future, while growing and expanding our security efforts #ForFreeKnowledge.— Wikimedia (@Wikimedia) September 10, 2019
Newmark, meanwhile, detailed the reasons for his continued support for Wikimedia in the following way:
"As disinformation and other security threats continue to jeopardize the integrity of our democracy, we must invest in systems that protect the services that work so hard to get accurate and trustworthy information in front of the public. That's why I eagerly continue to support the Wikimedia Foundation and its projects—like Wikipedia, the place where facts go to live."
It should be noted that although normal access seems to have been restored for Wikipedia, the Wikimedia Foundation still hasn't officially confirmed the complete eradication of the attack, something it had said it would do once the situation had normalized.