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WikiLeaks on Friday claimed that its supporters were behind the cyber attack in the United States that had taken down some major websites, such as Twitter, Reddit, Spotify and a host of others. "Mr. [Julian] Assange is still alive and WikiLeaks is still publishing. We ask supporters to stop taking down the US internet. You proved your point," the anti-secrecy organisation said on Twitter, reported Scroll.in.
The message from WikiLeaks comes days after its founder Julian Assange's internet access was cut off by the Ecuador government. Assange has lived and worked in Ecuador's London Embassy since June 2012. He had sought asylum after a British court had ordered his extradition to Sweden over a molestation case. His internet access was stopped days after his organisation published US Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton's Goldman Sachs speeches, putting an end to the speculation that the governments of the US or United Kingdom had done it.
Users were unable to access a number of websites on Friday morning (Eastern Standard Time) as a result of a distributed denial of service attack on the systems of major domain name server provider Dyn. The company had confirmed the DDoS attack on its website, where it had put out a message about hours later that services were restored to normal.
A DDoS attack is when an online network or service is flooded with a large volume of data from multiple sources, overloading its processing capacity and network bandwidth and causing trouble for all its users. When multiple requests come in, networks usually queue the requests to ensure that the target server does not accept requests beyond its capacity. While network admins can prevent a DoS attack by blocking a particular IP address, the quantum of data pumped into a server is much higher in a DDoS attack, making it difficult to block the multiple IP addresses.
A DNS processes users' requests to visit a particular website and directs you to the right one. If a website's DNS provider is attacked, users will not be able to access it, as is the current problem with a number of websites such as The Verge, Wired, Etsy, CNN and Recode, among others, according to Gizmodo.