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[liberationtech] hit with DDOS attack

Ronald Deibert r.deibert at
Tue Apr 19 14:20:04 PDT 2011

Hello everyone.
It appears has been hit with a DDOS attack, and is asking  
for assistance.  If anyone knows of resources or feels inclined to help,
I'm sure they'd appreciate hearing.

> Benjamin Joffe-Walt
> Editor,
> bjw at
> For Immediate Release
> Chinese Hackers Attack Platform in Reaction to Ai Weiwei  
> Campaign
> Attackers use distributed denial of service attack to bring down the  
> world’s fastest growing social action platform after more than  
> 90,000 people in 175 countries call for release of Chinese dissident  
> artist.
> 19 April, 2011 – Chinese hackers temporarily brought down the  
> world’s fastest-growing social action platform after more than  
> 90,000 people in 175 countries endorsed an online call for the  
> release of internationally acclaimed Chinese artist Ai Weiwei.
> Weiwei, best known for his role in the construction of the Beijing  
> Olympic stadium and his recent Sunflower Seeds exhibition at the  
> Tate Modern, has become an increasingly outspoken critic of the  
> Chinese government in recent years, in particular over the handling  
> of the 2008 earthquake in the country’s Sichuan province.
> The cyber attack on follows the viral success of a  
> petition calling for Ai Weiwei’s release by leading global art  
> museums, including the Guggenheim Museum, New York, the Museum of  
> Modern Art, New York, and the Tate Modern, London, as well as the  
> Association of Art Museum Directors. The campaign is attracting more  
> than 10,000 new supporters a day and is now the most popular  
> international campaign on, the world’s fastest growing  
> activism platform with some 3.5 million monthly visitors.
> The distributed denial of service (DDoS) attack began early Monday  
> and made the site completely inaccessible for a few hours.  
> issued a formal request for urgent assistance to both the  
> FBI and the U.S. State Department’s Bureau of East Asian Pacific  
> Affairs within hours of the attack.
> “We do not know the reason or exact source of these attacks,” said  
> Ben Rattray, the founder of “All we know is that after  
> the unprecedented success of a campaign by leading global art  
> museums using our platform to call on the Chinese government to  
> release Ai Weiwei, we became the victims of highly sophisticated  
> denial of service attacks from locations in China.”
> “We've notified the U.S. State Department of the situation and asked  
> for their immediate assistance,” Rattray added. “Our engineers have  
> been able to keep up the site during parts of the attack, but we've  
> had some down time and without government assistance there are  
> limits to what we can do.”
>, a platform which allows anyone, anywhere to launch  
> online social action campaigns, has been blocked in China at various  
> points over the last few years.
> For exclusive quotes:
> Ben Rattray, Founder,
> +1 202 253 1288
> Weldon Kennedy, Director of Organizing, Human Rights
> +1 646 543 5330  or  +44 7500 796 782
> is the world’s fastest growing platform for social  
> change, empowering millions of people to start and join campaigns  
> for social change in their community, city and country.

Ronald J. Deibert
Director, The Canada Centre for Global Security Studies and
The Citizen Lab
Munk School of Global Affairs
University of Toronto
r.deibert at

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