Just hours after Wikileaks announced it was down when its DNS provider EveryDNS.net stopped providing DNS support, the whistle-blowing website is live again, this time available via a new Swiss domain name; Wikileaks.ch and a number of other domain suffixes, redirecting to a specific IP address: http://188.8.131.52/.
The Wikileaks.org website went down worldwide around 11:25 PST, leaving visitors only able to access the website via a specific IP address.
SkepticGeek found the statement below that was issued by EveryDNS (and is on its homepage right now). In response to the DDoS attacks on Wikileaks, EveryDNS states that it couldn’t cope with strain on its systems in order to offer services to the other half a million sites that it serves.
EveryDNS.net provided domain name system (DNS) services to the wikileaks.org domain name until 10PM EST, December 2, 2010, when such services were terminated. As with other users of the EveryDNS.net network, this service was provided for free. The termination of services was effected pursuant to, and in accordance with, the EveryDNS.net Acceptable Use Policy.
More specifically, the services were terminated for violation of the provision which states that “Member shall not interfere with another Member’s use and enjoyment of the Service or another entity’s use and enjoyment of similar services.” The interference at issues arises from the fact that wikileaks.org has become the target of multiple distributed denial of service (DDOS) attacks. These attacks have, and future attacks would, threaten the stability of the EveryDNS.net infrastructure, which enables access to almost 500,000 other websites.
Thus, last night, at approximately 10PM EST, December 1, 2010 a 24 hour termination notification email was sent to the email address associated with the wikileaks.org account. In addition to this email, notices were sent to Wikileaks via Twitter and the chat function available through the wikileaks.org website. Any downtime of the wikileaks.org website has resulted from its failure to use another hosted DNS service provider.
Twitter users spread news of the new servers’ IP addresses, allowing users of the social networking service to continue to read the confidential cables on the site, just as Wikileaks wanted.
It is thought the move to Switzerland comes after Wikileaks founder Julian Assange claimed he would need to find political asylum in Swizterland, noting that the European country, alongside Iceland, would be the safest place for his site to operate.
Currently, the website doesn’t resolve to its DNS server, it looks as if the Wikileaks team have merely pointed the domain at the dedicated IP address of one of its servers. For now the service is up and running again and we assume DNS servers will resolve soon.
We will keep you updated as the situation progresses.
Update: TorrentFreak has confirmed that the new Wikileaks.ch domain was registered by the Swiss Pirate Party, a domain that actually began forwarding to Wikileaks’ servers when it was registered months ago. Only now has Wikileaks needed to leverage use of the domain.
Its not the first time that a Pirate Party has come to the aid of Wikileaks; previously the Swedish Pirates had announced they would help host the controversial website to protect freedom of the press.
The use of a .ch domain could provide Wikileaks with another minor headache because the Swiss domain uses nameservers provided by EasyDNS, the very same company that cut the website off just hours ago.
As Torrentfreak points out, this looks to be a temporary solution whilst the Wikileaks.org domain is put back into service. Below is a WHOIS lookup of the domain, you can quite clearly see its registrants and their affiliation: