Wikileaks DDOS attack highlights need for web security

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Wikileaks DDOS attack highlights need for web security

Simon Quicke

The thousands of confidental diplomatic cables that have been posted on Wikileaks and filtering out this week have made it clear that government departments in both the US and the UK have more to do in order to protect information.

But not only has it highlighted the dangers of leaking data, forcing the US to change access to its databases and reconsider the way it transmits diplomatic cables, but also the risks of web attacks on sites that contain sensitive information.

Wikileaks has been hit for the second time in three days by a distributed denial of service attacks (DDOS), designed to slow the site down and ideally bring it to a complete halt.

The site was targeted on Sunday by a DDOS attack which was shrugged off but the latest attack, which started last night and was believed to have originated in China, has been more successful.

A twitter update from Wikileaks revealed that it was under attack and US and UK users were not able to get access to the site because of a DDOS attack.

China has already be embarrassed by the WikiLeaks revelations, which included some details of a government-backed hacking attack which took place against Google at the start of the year.

Roger Rawlinson, managing director of assurance division at NCC Group, said that sites containing sensitive information would be prime targets.

"It also serves to highlight how vulnerable sites are to these forms of DDOS attacks, which can be very difficult to combat effectively," he said.

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