It’s been an exciting week for Wikileaks. After Wikileaks released thousands of thousands of US diplomatic cables, an unknown hacker attacked the Wikileaks website using a DDOS technique. Shortly after the attacks began, the Wikileaks website jumped over to the Amazon EC2 service. Rather than paying up front for the service, users pay by the usage. This allowed Wikileaks to evade the DDOS attacks.
A few days later, we find Amazon dropping Wikileaks from their service. Early reports stated that this was because of pressure from the government. Amazon debunks these claims in a short blog post, which begins:
There have been reports that a government inquiry prompted us not to serve WikiLeaks any longer. That is inaccurate.
There have also been reports that it was prompted by massive DDOS attacks. That too is inaccurate. There were indeed large-scale DDOS attacks, but they were successfully defended against.
Amazon goes on to explain why Wikileaks got let go:
We’ve been running AWS for over four years and have hundreds of thousands of customers storing all kinds of data on AWS. Some of this data is controversial, and that’s perfectly fine. But, when companies or people go about securing and storing large quantities of data that isn’t rightfully theirs, and publishing this data without ensuring it won’t injure others, it’s a violation of our terms of service, and folks need to go operate elsewhere.
After losing their EC2 hosting, Wikileaks also lost their DNS. EveryDNS.net, which provided DNS services to the WikiLeaks.org domain, terminated them. EveryDNS says they did so because the WikiLeaks domain somehow threatened their infrastructure.
With no DNS and no hosting, Wikileaks was forced out of the country. They tweeted today that they’ve moved to Switzerland, and can be found at Wikileaks.ch.