The WikiLeaks website was back Wednesday after an apparent cyberattack shut it down Tuesday night. The move may have been triggered by an earlier disclosure of about 134,000 diplomatic cables with the names of U.S. and other diplomats.
No one claimed responsibility for the denial of service attacks but it could have been agencies of governments whose cables were leaked. Although governments, including the U.S., have extensive computer and software tools, they never acknowledge using them.
However, one finger may point to Canberra, where Australia's Attorney General, Robert McClelland, issued a statement condemning WikiLeaks. In the past, WikiLeaks has decided to redact identifying features where security operations or safety could be put at risk he said. This has not occurred in this case.
Last week, WikiLeaks released more than 130,000 diplomatic cables, including all its documents for Australia as well as Sweden, which it claimed exposed traffic from every country with U.S. diplomatic representation. Previously, the site had released only about 20,000 cables.
Thereafter, WikiLeaks came under a 36-hour blitz of apparent attacks during which the service appealed for support and funds using Twitter. It also hoisted a red flag with a statement: Dear Governments, if you don't want your filth exposed, then stop acting like pigs. Simple.
WikiLeaks didn't say whether it might have launched the attack itself to get attention. But founder Julian Assange, an Australian, said via Twitter that Australia had ratted out 23 Australians to the U.S. embassy without due process and suggested McClelland might consider cancelling my Australian passport once again.
Assange is currently in England, living under home release on bail after being charged with sex offenses in Sweden. He is expected to be extradited for trial there soon.
Among the confidential cables on the WikiLeaks site Wednesday was one classified by U.S. Ambassador to Libya Gene Kretz in January 2010 after a meeting with then justice minister equivalent Mustafa Mohammad Abduljalil concerning his willingness to work with us on legal reform. It characterized the meeting as positive and encouraging.
In the current Libyan revolution, Abduljalil, who quit the Gadhafi government, is regarded as a potential future leader of the country.