WikiLeaks Party launches, goes down under DDoS

The Wikileaks Party has launched in Australia, announcing its candidates, only to have its official site go down under a DDoS attack from an American "hacktivist".

Michelle Starr Science editor
Michelle Starr is CNET's science editor, and she hopes to get you as enthralled with the wonders of the universe as she is. When she's not daydreaming about flying through space, she's daydreaming about bats.
Michelle Starr
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The WikiLeaks Party has launched in Australia, announcing its candidates, only to have its official site go down under a distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attack from an American "hacktivist".

(Credit: The WikiLeaks Party)

From his current "home" in London's Ecuadorian embassy, Julian Assange has announced seven WikiLeaks Party candidates for the upcoming federal election, standing for New South Wales, Victoria and Western Australia.

Standing in New South Wales are human rights lawyer Kellie Tranter and academic, journalist and former public servant with the Department of External Affairs and Department of Foreign Affairs Dr Alison Brionowski.

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For Western Australia, journalist Gerry Georgatos and economist and CEO of the Epilepsy Association of Western Australia Suresh Rajan will be standing.

Finally, Assange himself will stand for Victoria, alongside author, ethicist and activist Dr Leslie Cannold and RMIT lecturer Dr Binoy Kampmark.

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However, less than an hour after the party launched, the official website went offline, and has been unavailable since about 3.30pm AEST yesterday. At the time of writing, that's around 18 hours. Initially, the party claimed it was due to traffic, but shortly after, announced that it was a DDoS attack.

An American self-proclaimed "hacktivist" calling himself "The Jester" who has vocally opposed WikiLeaks in the past, launching several DDoS attacks against the main website, has claimed responsibility.

A cached version of the site can be viewed thanks to CloudFlare Always Online technology. CNET Australia has contacted the WikiLeaks Party for comment, and will update this story when we have more information.

"WikiLeaks Party is a party of accountability, it's not a party of government," Assange said during a live video stream announcing the candidates. "It's a party to put into the Senate, to make sure whoever is put into the government does their job. It's an insurance against the election."

The WikiLeaks Party has pledged to stand for the protection of human rights and freedoms; transparency of governmental and corporate action, policy and information; recognition of the need for equality between generations; and support of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander self-determination.