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Christopher Mims

A View from Christopher Mims

Inside the Fortified, Nuke-Proof Bunker that's Now Hosting Wikileaks

Images from inside the Bahnhof data center show a world of Cold War-era security repurposed for the cyberwarfare of the 21st century.

  • December 1, 2010

If Wikileaks founder Julian Assange is trying to turn himself into a Bond villain, he’s succeeded: the ongoing distributed denial of service attack against Wikileaks has forced his minions to move the site to a fortified data center encased in a cold war-era, nuke-proof bunker encased in bedrock. Really.

The host is called Bahnhof, and considering that the attacks against Wikileaks already forced its original host, PRG, to boot the site, and its second host, Amazon.com, to bow to political pressure to do the same, one wonders why Swedish Bahnhof would take on the challenge of hosting a site that will probably be under permanent attack for the foreseeable future.

Unless it’s for the PR value: Bahnhof has hosted Wikileaks before. In which case, let the gallery begin.

Flickr user Antony Antony had a chance to take pictures inside the Bahnhof data center despite its usual no-pictures policy. All the images that follow are creative commons licensed by him:

Notice the lack of supports in the ceiling, aside from some kind of spray-concrete: the rock from which this bunker was carved is hard enough that none are required.
The data center sports two giant diesel engines (not pictured) suitable for backup power generation.
Like any other co-location facility, it’s possible that Bahnhof is simply providing power and internet connectivity to servers that Wikileaks itself has provisioned.

If you’d prefer a walking tour of the facility, Youtube shows Data Center Pulse visited Bahnhof in 2009:

Follow Mims on Twitter or contact him via email.

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