Over the weekend the start of what will be thousands of leaked diplomatic cables started appearing on the web.
Quite a few governments didn't want the contents to become public, prime among them the US, so it was perhaps of little surprise that the site hosting the information Wikileaks was hit buy a distributed denial of service (DDOS) web attack.
A DDOS attack is designed to paralyze a web site and effectively take it off air and the reasons for someone wanting to do that in this case are clear.
However the attacks failed and the leaks, which will last for the next few days, continue to come. Ironically one of the leaks covers the Chinese attack on Google at the start of the year. In that case, apparently orchestrated when a Politburo member found unflattering things about himself on the web, it was successful and the search giant moved out of the country.
So in a strange way not only do these leaked diplomatic cables do the US and its allies great harm but in terms of demonstrating the effectiveness of hackers to take down the site those trying to do so clearly have a lot to learn from the Chinese.
This was first published in November 2010