Wikipedia, the world’s largest repository of free information was the victim of a vicious cyber-attack during the weekend. Consistently ranked as one of the most popular websites, and rightly so, Wikipedia is accessed over a billion times each month from across the globe. A Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attack has taken the website offline in some countries in Europe and the Middle East.
For those that are unaware, websites are hosted from servers that receive and process requests from users who want to access the website. A DDoS attack, as the name suggests, floods the server with more requests than it is designed to handle, thereby making it annoyingly slow or even crashing it, resulting in the hosted website being rendered inaccessible. The flow of requests into a website’s server can be compared to the flow of traffic on a busy street. Too much traffic would result in serious traffic congestion.
It is not known who is responsible for the attack and no one has claimed responsibility, yet. The Wikimedia Foundation, which hosts Wikipedia, issued a statement condemning the attacks and assured that their website’s security team was tirelessly working to restore access to the site in affected regions.
Denial of Service (DoS) and Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) are some of the most common types of cyber-attacks that affect websites across the globe.