WikiLeaks attacked by hackers ahead of document dump

WikiLeaks attacked by hackers ahead of document dump

Whistleblower website WikiLeaks on Sunday came under cyber attack ahead of a release of a new trench of secret U.S. documents, RIA Novosti reported.

Information about the attack appeared on the twitter account of WikiLeaks.

"We are currently under a mass distributed denial of service attack," the whistleblower twitted to its followers.

"El Pais, Le Monde, Speigel, Guardian & NYT will publish many US embassy cables tonight, even if WikiLeaks goes down," the site said in a follow-up tweet.

WikiLeaks, which has published hundreds of U.S. war logs, has announced a pending release of the U.S. Department of State's secret correspondence, a Russian business daily said on Friday.

Kommersant daily said that WikiLeaks was preparing to unveil messages between the U.S. State Department and U.S. embassies around the world, including in Moscow.

The documents contain the U.S. evaluation of the political situation in Russia and the unflattering characteristics of some Russian leaders, Kommersant cited a WikiLeaks source as saying.

On Wednesday, U.S. State Department's Assistant Secretary Philip Crowley said that the possible release would "put national interests at risk."

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and her deputies started calling to world governments, Kommersant said.

"These revelations are harmful to the United States and our interests. They are going to create tension in our relationships between our diplomats and our friends around the world," Crowley said, adding that the United States was prepared for the worst outcome.

Rusian Reporter weekly is the only Russian magazine, along with U.S. and German media, which received WikiLeaks materials in advance to prepare publications and alalysis, Rusian Reporter said on its web site.

The main suspect in the leak of these documents, along with the previous logs, is jailed U.S. Private Bradley Manning, who had top-secret clearance as an intelligence analyst for the Army when he was stationed in Iraq.

Pentagon investigators believe that Manning has accessed a worldwide military classified Internet and e-mail system to download the documents.

Manning, 22, was charged in June with several violations of the U.S. Criminal Code for allegedly transferring classified data without authorization.

The WikiLeaks website does not have a central office or any paid staff and its operations are run only by a small dedicated team and some 800 volunteers.

Wikileaks' founder, Australian activist Julian Assange, has no home address but he often pops up in Sweden and Iceland, where Internet anonymity is protected by laws. He is being hunted by Pentagon investigators and is suspected of releasing confidential U.S. State Department documents.

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