The lawyer for WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange said on Friday that a ‘state actor’ is likely to blame for massive cyber attacks on the whistleblower website after it released secret US diplomatic cables.
Mark Stephens said the ‘sophisticated’ efforts to take down the site may be part of a general effort to silence the elusive Assange, after Sweden said it would issue a fresh arrest warrant for him on sexual assault charges.
‘Somebody, probably a state actor, has taken control of literally hundreds of thousands of vulnerable computers across the world and got them all to dial in to the WikiLeaks website simultaneously,’ Mr Stephens told AFP.
‘It’s very sophisticated and we know that Julian has suffered a number of such attacks, we know there have also been some odd other things going on in Sweden,’ added Mr Stephens, who is based in London.
The whistleblower site was back online with a new Swiss address on Friday, six hours after its previous domain name was shut down by a US system provider following a series of attacks over the past week.
WikiLeaks has reported a string of distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks since dumping the US documents on Friday, a release that has led US senators to vow to punish him and his organisation.