Wikipedia has reported being the victim of a cyber-attack following the site being forced offline in multiple countries on Friday.
Persons across Europe and parts of the Middle East were unable to access Wikipedia resources right before 7 pm, BST, per downdetector.com. It was reported as being down in large parts of the UK, Poland, France, Germany, and Italy.
The German Wikimedia Twitter account told followers that the server was being immobilized by a massive DDOS (distributed denial of service) attack.
"Today, Wikipedia was hit with a malicious attack that has taken it offline in several countries for intermittent periods," the site explained in a statement. "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.”
Wikipedia has been experiencing intermittent outages today as a result of a malicious attack. We're continuing to work on restoring access. #wikipediadown— Wikipedia (@Wikipedia) September 7, 2019
Wikimedia's resources are among the most used on the internet and that the site was targeted by an individual(s) with malicious intent is indeed worrying. Fortunately, things appear to be back to normal for the time being. Let's just hope Friday's attack is the last.
We imagine that the site owners have taken appropriate measures to prevent something like this from happening again but the possibility of being compromised always looms in this day and age.