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Fri, Jul. 16th, 2004, 08:36 pm
mnemonic_: A Wikipedia "Pearl Harbor"...

What would it take to render unusable or unaccessible a significant percentage (greater than 5%) of Wikipedia? Could a large scale, well-orchestrated attack irrevocably damage Wikipedia contents? Or are there sufficient backups and defensive measures to prevent such deleterious activities?

(From my casual standpoint it seems that the latter is true, though I have not put extensive thought on the subject.)

P.S. I'm not trying to be fear mongering or anti-wiki. This is purely for my curiosity's sake.

Fri, Jul. 16th, 2004 06:10 pm (UTC)
mikemulligan: Opinion of wikipedia

I think the content is safe into perpetuity. A lot of people and organizations download the database regularly (I have a month-old copy of it myself that I was using for searches, as do many other wikipedians, I'm sure.)

Wikipedia.org itself is another matter. Some wikipedians believe that a wiki simply can't grow too large before it becomes hopelessly unmanageable. I'm a bit of an optimist. I think that as long as the rate of taking ownership for articles grows at a similar pace, we have enough eyeballs to keep it running.

Fri, Jul. 16th, 2004 06:45 pm (UTC)
fleaplus: Re: Opinion of wikipedia

In addition to that, I believe there's mechanisms in place to do things like revert all the changes made in a particular time period.

Fri, Jul. 16th, 2004 08:01 pm (UTC)
arvindn: Simple answer

Database dumps are made weekly. Wikipedia does not grow 5% in a single week. Therefore no attack, no matter how well-orchestrated, can damage 5% of wikipedia :)

Sat, Jul. 17th, 2004 07:16 am (UTC)

Not that I know much about wikipedia's mechanics, but based on what others have said about this question so far, I'll hazard a guess that an arbitrary code execution vulnerability would be the biggest concern. But every site is at risk from that, and it (hopefully) wouldn't risk the backups too directly anyway.

Sat, Jul. 17th, 2004 02:25 pm (UTC)

Hmm. An EMP or something equally catastrophic would take out Wikipedia. Mind you, it'd probably take out most of the country's computers at the same time, too.

In terms of human endeavours, there's not much that can be "forever".

Sat, Jul. 17th, 2004 03:28 pm (UTC)

There is, in fact, nothing. Humanity will be destroyed in about a billion years due to increasing sun temperature, and in about five billion years we'll be engulfed by the sun. Hopefully by then we will have colonized other planets, but if we haven't, Wikipedia will be destroyed.

Sun, Jun. 17th, 2007 05:02 pm (UTC)
(Anonymous): Ultimate destruction

Oh, not so. Information can be stored simply by transmitting it electromagnetically. In short, all we have to do is transmit the contents off Earth. Whether someone will be able to recover this information at some future time, is another matter entirely. Regardless, Wikipedia itself, can exist forever. Rklawton