MASSIVE CYBERATTACK HITS SPAMFIGHTING ORGANIZATION SPAMHAUS

Fox News on March 27, 2013, reported that the Internet is under the worst cyberattack ever according to experts.

Spam-fighting organization Spamhaus is being targeted with a massive cyberattack that experts say may be the biggest in the history of the web. The so-called distributed denial of service attack, or DDoS, uses networks of computers to point huge volumes of web traffic at a company’s server, a technique that invariably knocks their computers offline. Excerpts below:

The DDoS attack being waged against Spamhaus has reached a previously unheard of magnitude, according to Patrick Gilmore, chief architect at digital content provider Akamai. Recent cyberattacks — like the ones that caused persistent outages at U.S. banking sites late last year — tend to peak at 100 billion bits per second. The attack on Spamhaus clocked in at 300 billion.

“It’s the largest publicly announced DDoS attack in the history of the Internet,” Gilmore said to the New York Times.

Even that tremendous number might not truly reflect the scope of the attack, however.

The massive cyberattack is apparently from groups angry at being blacklisted by the Geneva-based spam fighter — and the digital assault is so great that Gilmore said the electronic onslaught was affecting others across the Internet.

Users could experience slower Internet or be subjected to unwanted emails, he said.

A man who identified himself as Sven Olaf Kamphuis said he was in touch with the attackers and described them as mainly consisting of disgruntled Russian Internet service providers who had found themselves on Spamhaus’ blacklists. There was no immediate way to verify his claim.

Gilmore and Prince said the attack’s perpetrators had taken advantage of weaknesses in the Internet’s infrastructure to trick thousands of servers into routing a torrent of junk traffic to Spamhaus every second.

CloudFlare also reported that the attack was massive, possibly the biggest ever.

In an interview, Spamhaus’ Vincent Hanna said his site had been hit by such a crushing wave of denial-of-service attacks and that it was “a small miracle that we’re still online.”

Hanna said his group had been weathering such attacks since mid-March.

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