Wikipedia Gets $2.5m Donation to Boost Cybersecurity

Original Post from InfoSecurity Magazine
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Wikipedia Gets $2.5m Donation to Boost Cybersecurity

The Wikimedia Foundation has received a $2.5m donation to boost its cybersecurity efforts following a major DDoS attack that left Wikipedia unavailable across much of the world last weekend.

The non-profit relies on charitable donations and volunteers to keep the online encyclopedia and other “free knowledge” projects running.

So it was relieved at the major cash injection, which came from Craigslist founder-turned-philanthropist Craig Newmark.

“Wikipedia’s continued success as a top-10 website that has hundreds of millions of users makes it a target for vandalism, hacking, and other cybersecurity threats that harm the free knowledge movement and community,” said John Bennett, director of security at the Wikimedia Foundation.

“That’s why we are working proactively to combat problems before they arise. This investment will allow us to further expand our security programs to identify current and future threats, create effective countermeasures, and improve our overall security controls.”

The non-profit didn’t go into much more detail about which areas of its security stack the money would help to fund, although application security, risk management and incident response were all highlighted.

It would also be safe to assume that some funds would be diverted into better DDoS mitigation, given the attack last weekend which started on Friday evening UK time and led to disruption for most of Europe and the Middle East.

Under his Craig Newmark Philanthropies organization, Newmark has donated millions to fund journalism and combat fake news, improve voter protection and help address the gender disparity in IT. As part of these efforts he’s sent nearly $2m the way of the Wikimedia Foundation.

“As disinformation and other security threats continue to jeopardize the integrity of our democracy, we must invest in systems that protect the services that work so hard to get accurate and trustworthy information in front of the public,” said Newmark.

“That’s why I eagerly continue to support the Wikimedia Foundation and its projects — like Wikipedia, the place where facts go to live.”


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