A major cyberattack took down Wikipedia in several markets over the weekend, the company has confirmed.
The popular reference site said it had suffered a distributed denial of service (DDoS) attack that took down its sites across part of Europe and the Middle East.
The attack meant users in the UK, as well as France, Germany and Italy were among thoser affected, with the outage monitoring service Downdetector reporting that Wikipedia was offline for several hours before being restored.
In a statement, Wikipedia parent company Wikimedia confirmed the site had been hit by a “malicious attack that has taken it offline in several countries for intermittent periods,” with the company’s German Twitter account said its server was “paralysed by a massive and very broad DDoS attack”.
“As one of the world’s most popular sites, Wikipedia sometimes attracts “bad faith” actors,” Wikimedia’s statement added. “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.
The company stated that it condemned the attack, which it said was not just about taking Wikipedia offline.
“Takedown attacks threaten everyone’s fundamental rights to freely access and share information,” it said. “We in the Wikimedia movement and Foundation are committed to protecting these rights for everyone.”
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