Wikipedia was knocked offline in several countries after being hit by a coordinated Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attack over the weekend.
The Wikimedia Foundation made a statement claiming that the company's server suffered a "massive" DDoS attack and that its Site Reliability Engineering team is working to stop the attack and restore services.
Reports of problems accessing the site started around 2:00 PM EST on Friday, spiking again around 4:00 PM EST and then again later Friday evening. A wide range of countries appear to have been impacted by this attack, including visitors in Greece, Egypt, Norway, Italy, the UK, Germany Belarus, Russia, and Saudi Arabia.
The Wikimedia Foundation condemned the attacks, claiming that a takedown attack such as this threatens everyone's fundamental right to freely access and share information.
No follow up statements have been issued by Wikimedia, but as of Monday, service appears to be running business as usual.
In recent years, similar attacks have brought down popular websites such as Twitter, Spotify, PayPal, Sony, and XBox.
To defend against DDoS attacks, NNT suggests implementing a real-time File Integrity Monitoring solution to spot any changes made to your hardened and vulnerability free systems. This will ensure that if a form of APT malware manages to infiltrate a critical system, all file changes will be detected before any rootkit protective measures brought on by the malware starts.
It's also important to be on the lookout for Botnets - preventing the establishment of these in the first place will help significantly lower your chances of suffering a DDoS attack.
Lastly, keep a close eye on performance metrics and scalability. DDoS attacks consume an obnoxious amount of bandwidth so organizations must be equipped with high performance, purpose-built hardware that can help mitigate the common, yet large-scale attacks effectively.