Wikipedia taken offline by massive DDoS attack

Wikipedia page

A DDoS attack rocked Wikipedia on Friday, taking the site offline in a number of countries.

The online encyclopedia was forced offline for several hours across Europe and the Middle East, and the site battled the attack to restore service. The Wikimedia Foundation -- the organization behind the site -- condemned the attack saying it wanted to protect the "fundamental right" for people to be able to "freely access and share information".

At the moment nothing is known -- or at least nothing has been shared about -- who may have been behind the attacks. Wikipedia is blocked in numerous countries, including Turkey, and it is possible the DDoS attack stemmed from a group or country eager to censor the site. The Wikimedia Foundation acknowledges that "Wikipedia sometimes attracts 'bad faith' actors".

News of the downtime was shared on Twitter:

A statement issued by the Wikimedia Foundation reads:

Today, Wikipedia was hit with a malicious attack that has taken it offline in several countries for intermittent periods. The attack is ongoing and our Site Reliability Engineering team is working hard to stop it and restore access to the site.

As one of the world's most popular sites, Wikipedia sometimes attracts "bad faith" actors. Along with the rest of the web, we operate in an increasingly sophisticated and complex environment where threats are continuously evolving. Because of this, the Wikimedia communities and Wikimedia Foundation have created dedicated systems and staff to regularly monitor and address risks. If a problem occurs, we learn, we improve, and we prepare to be better for next time.

We condemn these sorts of attacks. They're not just about taking Wikipedia offline. Takedown attacks threaten everyone's fundamental rights to freely access and share information. We in the Wikimedia movement and Foundation are committed to protecting these rights for everyone.

Right now, we're continuing to work to restore access wherever you might be reading Wikipedia in the world. We'll keep you posted.

Image credit: Stanislau Palaukou / Shutterstock

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