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Wikipedia goes partly offline after massive DDoS attack

Wikipedia goes partly offline after massive DDoS attack
  • The attack was launched on September 6, 2019 (Friday) and targeted several countries including the U.K., France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Poland, and parts of the Middle East.
  • The organization’s site reliability engineering team has taken the necessary steps to stop the attack and restore access to the website.

What is the issue?

Attackers have launched a massive DDoS attack against Wikipedia and successfully managed to take down its website across various countries.

What is a DDoS attack?

In a Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attack, multiple compromised systems are used to target a server with a huge volume of traffic. DDoS attack aims at bringing services down by bombarding them with so much traffic that their services and infrastructure are unable to handle it.

What happened?

Wikipedia, the global online encyclopedia experienced intermittent service outages between September 6 and September 7, 2019.

“Wikipedia has been experiencing intermittent outages today as a result of a malicious attack. We're continuing to work on restoring access. #wikipediadown,” Wikipedia tweeted.

Meanwhile, the official Twitter account for Wikipedia in Germany tweeted that “the Wikimedia server of Wikimedia Foundation, which also hosts Wikipedia, is currently being paralyzed by a massive and very broad DDoS attack. #Wikipedia and her sister projects are therefore temporarily unavailable. Sorry!”

Which countries were impacted?

The attack was launched on September 6, 2019 (Friday) and targeted several countries including the U.K., France, Germany, Italy, The Netherlands, Poland and parts of the Middle East.

What was the response?

Wikimedia Foundation said that Wikipedia sometimes attracts malicious actors as it is one of the world’s most popular sites. In order to prevent attacks from such malicious threat actors, the Wikimedia Foundation has created dedicated systems and staff to regularly monitor and address risks.

“As one of the world’s most popular sites, Wikipedia sometimes attracts “bad faith” actors. Along with the rest of the web, we operate in an increasingly sophisticated and complex environment where threats are continuously evolving. Because of this, the Wikimedia communities and Wikimedia Foundation have created dedicated systems and staff to regularly monitor and address risks. If a problem occurs, we learn, we improve, and we prepare to be better for next time,” said the Wikimedia Foundation.

  • The organization said that its site reliability engineering team is working hard to stop the attack and restore access to the website.
  • The organization also condemned takedown attacks as these attacks threaten everyone’s fundamental rights to freely access and share information.
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