Cyber attacks on WikiLeaks were intensifying as world leaders continued to grapple with the fallout of the whistleblower site's initial release of what will become hundreds of thousands of confidential US diplomatic cables.
On Tuesday WikiLeaks came under a second, much more powerful distributed denial of service (DDoS) attack launched against both its Cablegate page and its home page, Wikileaks.org.
"DDOS attack now exceeding 10 Gigabits a second," Wikileaks posted via Twitter update.
The first assault on wikileaks.org on Sunday, reportedly launched by a "hacktivist" that goes by the name of "th3j35t3r" (The Jester), was a "modest" 2-4 Gbps in size, according to security firm Arbor Networks analyst Craig Labovitz.
According to Paul Mutton, a security analyst from UK security firm, NetCraft, that attack failed to cause any disruption, but the latest attacks had caused "noticeable downtime".
"This attack has shifted its focus onto www.wikileaks.org, which is now being deluged with more than 10 gigabits of traffic per second, causing the site to become unavailable to visitors," Mutton wrote late Tuesday.
Wikileaks has rigged its Cablegate page to withstand such attacks by alternating on a "round-robin" basis between three geographically dispersed IP addresses, according to Mutton.
The whistleblower site employed the same set-up during its October warlogs release, with IP addresses still hosted by France's Octopuce, and Amazon's EC2 cloud in the US and Ireland.
"This does not appear to have prevented the current attack from succeeding," Mutton posted on Netcraft's blog.