[WikiEN-l] "Doomsday" threat?

Oskar Sigvardsson oskarsigvardsson at gmail.com
Wed Oct 11 15:04:38 UTC 2006

This user is obviously a nut-job, but this is something we should
atleast consider. I remember a while back when a vandalbot started
attacking ANI, which effectively shut it down for a long period of
time. This was before semi-protection, so today that specific threat
could be easily dealt with, but what if he had attacked random
articles instead?

It's a fact that there are botnet-operators out there with tens of
thousands of computers, and they demand money from websites in
exchange for them not being DDoSed. This is not even rare, it's fairly
common in this brand new world.

What if one of these people wrote a script and installed it on all of
their bots so that they register an account and then randomly attack
and vandalise articles? I mean, there could be literally thousands of
edits flowing in every minute. Not only would this probably make the
servers screech to a grinding halt, it would cause huge damage to the
content of the site.

In such an event, what would we do? Semi-protect the entire
encyclopedia? Lock the database and quickly install a version control
thing, like the germans? Is there anything else? Let's face it,
wikipedia is a high-profile target, we need to consider such things.


On 10/11/06, Daniel R. Tobias <dan at tobias.name> wrote:
> [[User:Instant Karma]] recently made a posting to [[User Talk:Jimbo
> Wales]] titled "The End Is Nigh", making a series of demands of
> Wikipedia (such as the removal of most sex-related material, the
> addition of an attempt to keep minors out of whatever remains in that
> area, and the removal of most pop-cultural stuff including reducing
> mention of Star Trek to a single article).  It concluded with a
> threat of unspecified retribution of a "Doomsday Machine" nature
> which would allegedly result in the destruction of Wikipedia.  Just
> thought you ought to know that we're allegedly all doomed now... :-)
> --
> == Dan ==
> Dan's Mail Format Site: http://mailformat.dan.info/
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