The WikiLeaks drama: A timeline

Feeling lost somewhere in the middle of the WikiLeaks drama? Here's a timeline to help you sort things out.

The WikiLeaks story has snowballed so quickly and dramatically that it can be hard to keep track of everything that has taken place. In an attempt to sort all this out, CSO has constructed a timeline of events, starting with the most recent news and working back to when the story first gained our attention in late November.

What follows is taken directly from articles that have appeared on CSO since the story broke on Nov. 28.

We will update the timeline in the days to come.

DEC 9:
  • A loosely organized group of Internet hacktivists take down Visa's website, continuing the revenge attacks against companies that cut ties with WikiLeaks.
  • DEC 8:
  • Daniel Ellsberg, leaker of the Pentagon Papers, comes to the side of WikiLeaks, lauding the site for trying to expose government secrets.
  • Pro-WikiLeaks hacktivists turn their DDoS firehoses on MasterCard and Paypal for dropping support for the site.
  • Datacell, an IT firm that hosts the Wikileaks donations web page, vowed to sue Visa Europe and Mastercard for lost revenues after they refused to transact with the site.
  • DEC 7:
  • WikiLeaks' Julian Assange is arrested by U.K. police after turning himself in to authorities.
  • Visa pulls the plug on WikiLeaks supporters' ability to make donations or payments to the site.
  • DEC 6:
  • Google's struggles to operate its search engine in China worsened after a high-ranking Chinese official Googled himself only to find "results critical of him," according to a new cable WikiLeaks released.
  • MasterCard pulls the plug on WikiLeaks supporters' ability to make donations or payments to the site.
  • WikiLeaks asks the Web community to open mirror sites so it can't be downed or censored. It also boasts that 355 new sites are already up.
  • A DDoS attack hits Wikileaks' servers in Sweden
  • DEC 4:
  • PayPal slaps WikiLeaks accounts with stifling restrictions for "violating the PayPal Acceptable Use Policy"
  • DEC 3:
  • WikiLeaks' main website is rendered inaccessible on through the domain name after a subsidiary of Dynamic Network Services kills its domain name service.
  • WikiLeaks publishes a U.S. State Department cable revealing how Intel threatened to pull research and development work from Russia unless it could get around the country's tough encryption import laws.
  • DEC 2:
  • Amazon Web Services (AWS) boots WikiLeaks from its servers for "breaking rules designed to ensure websites use their own content and that it won't injure others." Amazon denies the action is due to pressure from the U.S. government.
  • Sweden's Supreme Court refuses to hear an appeal from Wikileaks' Julian Assange to throw out an arrest warrant related to sexual assault accusations from two women.
  • Sarah Palin, considered by many as a Republican candidate for president in 2012, says WikiLeaks' founder Julian Assange should be hunted down the same way U.S. forces are hunting the Taliban and Al-Qaeda.
  • DEC 1:
  • Interpol issues a "red notice" for Wikileaks' Julian Assange, telling police around the world that he's wanted for questioning by Swedish prosecutors related to sexual assault accusations.
  • NOV 30:
  • WikiLeaks releases files revealing that. former British Prime Minister Gordon Brown made a direct appeal to the US government that computer hacker Gary McKinnon be allowed to serve any sentence in the UK.
  • China blocks Internet access to WikiLeaks' release of more than 250,000 U.S. Department of State cables. Its Foreign Ministry says it doesn't want China-U.S. relations to be disrupted.
  • NOV 28:
  • Wikileaks starts releasing a cache of 250,000 leaked US embassy cables, igniting a global firestorm of anger from governments and a massive wave of attacks between WikiLeaks haters and supporters.
  • Within hours, the DDoS attacks against WikiLeaks begins.
  • Among the more than 250,000 U.S. Department of State cables released is a document linking China's Politburo to the December 2009 hack of Google's computer systems.
  • WikiLeaks before Nov. 28

    Though many people only started hearing about WikiLeaks in late November, the site has actually been around since 2006. The global non-profit organization, run by The Sunshine Press, is dedicated to the release of otherwise unavailable documents it receives from anonymous leaks and news sources. WikiLeaks database was said to have reached 1.2 million documents within its first year.

    Copyright © 2010 IDG Communications, Inc.

    7 hot cybersecurity trends (and 2 going cold)