Andy Greenberg
October 23, 2010

The people behind the attack are very skilled. Photo: MC4 Army,

Someone is trying to spring a leak in Wikileaks.

As the whistle-blower organization prepared earlier this week for a Saturday press conference that some believe will announce a major release of secret data regarding the Iraq war, a staffer wrote Wednesday on the organization’s twitter feed that its “communications infrastructure is currently under attack,” adding the cryptic message “Project BO move to coms channel S. Activate Reston5.”

A Wikileaks source who asks to remain anonymous now says that the organization’s XMPP server in Amsterdam, used to host its encrypted instant messaging communications, was compromised earlier this week by an unknown attacker, and the chat service had to be relocated to another server in Germany. “The server got attacked, hacked, and the private keys got out,” says the source. “We needed new private keys. Now it’s back online and secure.”

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The source added that the attack represented the first breach in Wikileaks’ history, and that “the people who are behind it are very skilled,” declining to comment further on the details of the hack.

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