WikiLeaks Web address is shut down

WikiLeaks' Web address has been killed, but don't panic: we'll show you how you can still access the site.

WikiLeaks' Web address has been killed, in the latest twist in the tale of the whistleblowing website. The site is at the centre of a storm of controversy and a campaign of online attacks after leaking more than 250,000 US diplomatic cables. wikileaks.org can't open the site, but if you're a corporate sneak or a government tattletale, don't panic: we'll show you how you can still access it.

WikiLeaks is under attack in a literal sense, and we're not talking about strongly worded letters: concerted denial of service (DoS) attacks on the site caused California-based hosting company EveryDNS to drop WikiLeaks at 3am today, claiming the hacking campaign was affecting its service to other users.

The Guardian describes attempts to take down a website as a game of "whack-a-mole". While WikiLeaks was able to counter hack attacks by changing servers, its DNS has proved to be an achilles heel.

A DNS service translates a site's address, as read and understood by us -- basically, the name of the site -- into a string of numbers that will be read by a machine, called an IP quad. The address wikileaks.org doesn't work, but WikiLeaks has provided its IP quad on Twitter. To see the offending cables and more, point your browser at http://88.80.13.160.

The whistleblower website is finding itself increasingly short of friends. Amazon pulled the plug on the site after it switched to Amazon's sturdy Elastic Cloud Computing (EC2) servers to escape hackers . Amazon claims it made the decision because WikiLeaks was violating the terms of service, although US companies are under pressure from Joe Lieberman, chairman of the US Senate's committee on homeland security, to sever any ties with the site.

The US attorney general is pursuing an investigation of WikiLeaks under espionage legislation. Site founder Julian Assange is also in legal hot water, with Swedish authorities issuing warrants for his arrest over alleged sex offences. He's even got Interpol looking to feel his collar, and is currently in hiding here in the UK, although Ecuador has offered him unconditional asylum.

Interpol and spies, hackers and geek technicalities -- this story has everything! Can WikiLeaks survive the onslaught, or will the combined might of the US government and patriotic hackers plug the leak for good? Let us know your thoughts in the comments.

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About the author

Rich Trenholm is a senior editor at CNET where he covers everything from phones to bionic implants. Based in London since 2007, he has travelled the world seeking out the latest and best consumer technology for your enjoyment.

 

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