Website forced offline after 'malicious attack' from hackers
Wikipedia was forced offline in across Europe and the Middle East on Friday afternoon and Saturday morning after falling victim to a cyber attack.
Millions were unable to access the popular site after what was described as a “malicious attack”, which is believed to have involved a wide-ranging distributed denial-of-service (DDOS) attack – when hackers overwhelm a server or network with more traffic than it can handle with the intention of shutting it down.
A blog post on the Wikimedia Foundation page said: “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.”
It is understood the service was back up and running on Saturday afternoon.