August 31, 2011, 12:28 PM — A distributed denial of attack on WikiLeaks main site subsided this morning after slowing traffic to a crawl starting late Tuesday evening, apparently in response to an unexpected rush-publication of more than 134,000 secret U.S. State Department cables that had not previously been released.
A New York Times story Monday said the bulk release – six times the number released up to that point – appeared to have been less closely filtered than earlier document. Many still included the names of human rights activists, journalists, academics and other State. Dept. sources in authoritarian countries whose identities had been marked "strictly protect" in the cables themselves.
The @WikiLeaks Twitter feed, widely supposed to be written by Assange himself, denied the charges in an Aug. 29 post, and slammed the NYT's intentions as well.
“Totally false that any WikiLeaks sources have been exposed or will be exposed. NYT drooling, senile, and evil.”
A German newspaper reported that an encrypted file with all the 250,000-some secret cables in WikiLeaks' possession had been posted online months ago and that a password was available from other sites.
Wired quotes what it calls a former WikiLeaks staffer named Herbert Snorrason as saying the file was posted inadvertently and that the password had been given to an external source for unrelated reasons before the file found its way online.
Other sources cited rumors Assange himself had included the file accidentally along with unencrypted files released to the media purposely as a summary of all the documents WikiLeaks had posted so far, following a staff revolt in which a large number of WikiLeakers quit to go found a rival site called OpenLeak.
At 10:30 ET this morning, WikiLeaks Twitter denied that the material released any new informant names. Assange is widely supposed to be the author of the @WikiLeaks feed. All the names in the documents had been published previously by mainstream media sources, it claims.
About the primary source for Wired's story, the Twitter feed said "'Herbert Snorrason is not, and has never been, a WikiLeaks staffer."
WikiLeaks DDOS ends without bringing tango down
The DDOS attack on Wikileaks.org began late Tuesday evening and slowed the site to a crawl, but never actually brought it down.