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WikiLeaks & Assange defense locked out of Twitter for over 24 hours in alleged DDoS attack

WikiLeaks & Assange defense locked out of Twitter for over 24 hours in alleged DDoS attack
WikiLeaks staff and Julian Assange's defense team were left unable to access their Twitter accounts for more than a day, the whistleblowing website's editor-in-chief says. A massive denial of service attack was the apparent cause.

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WikiLeaks Editor-in-Chief Kristinn Hrafnsson, who took over from co-founder Julian Assange in September, sounded the alarm on Friday, saying that editors were barred from the main account, which boasts over 5.41 million followers.

The accounts of the WikiLeaks Task Force, Assange's legal team, and Assange's official defense team, were likewise inaccessible. The Assange Defense account is aimed at ending the whistleblower's persecution and involuntary stay at the Ecuadorian Embassy in London, and has a 747,000-strong following. The WikiLeaks Task Force account is used by the team to debunk myths about the secret-spilling site, and to counter mainstream media narratives.

"These accounts are locked and cannot be accessed. They also seem to have been shadow banned. Should we be worried in these critical times?" Hrafnsson tweeted.

"Shadow-banning" makes posts invisible in search auto-suggestions, considerably reducing the affected account's outreach on Twitter.

In a later tweet, Hrafnsson said the standard ways of recovering the account had failed, implying that it might not just be a technical glitch.

The journalist also called on Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey and the tech company's other top officials to look into the matter. "No replies to DM´s addressed to people who should be worried that accounts with 6 mill followers are frozen," Hrafnsson lamented.

Some eight hours after Hrafnsson went public about the gag, access was restored by Twitter, with WikiLeaks thanking Dorsey and its supporters for drawing attention to the problem in the first place.

WikiLeaks said that it had been apparently targeted in a DDoS attack that hit several of its accounts.

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