Thursday 28 March 2013

Biggest cyber attack in history

Spam no more: 'Biggest' cyber-attack in history grips web
The ‘biggest cyber-attack in history’ has caused a worldwide web slowdown as the battle between an anti-spam group and a Dutch web host continues to heat up.

27 March, 2013

The largest known distributed-denial-of-service (DDoS) attack in history was sparked when the non-profit group Spamhaus placed CyberBunker on a real-time blacklist of sites to be blocked for spreading spam earlier this month.

The (DDoS) attacks – which flood targeted web servers with fake traffic to make them inaccessible – have reportedly caused millions to experience delays with services such as the Netflix video-streaming service and made other sites temporarily unavailable. Experts fear the web congestion could lead to banking and email system slowdowns around the world.

Spamhaus servers were at one point being inundated with 300 billion bits per second (300Gbps) of data, three times larger than the previous record attack of 100 Gbps, Darren Anstee from Arbor Networks Solutions told IBTimes UK.

Spamhaus, which helps email providers filter out spam and other questionable content, first reported the attacks on March 20.

Steve Linford, chief executive for Spamhaus, told the BBC that this scale of attack could knock down government Internet infrastructure.

"If you aimed this at Downing Street they would be down instantly," he said. "They would be completely off the Internet."

Linford noted that “when there are attacks against major banks, we're talking about 50 gbs."

Five separate cyber-police-forces are investigating the incident, he added, though he could not disclose any further details.

Spamhaus further accused Cyberbunker of collaborating with criminal gangs from Eastern Europe and Russia to carry out the attacks.

Cyberbunker, which operates out of a "secretive nuclear bunker," prides itself on rebuking "authorities regarding the rights of individuals." The firm, which boasts they will provide bandwidth to anything but child pornography or terrorism related content, has also developed a reputation for hosting spam sites.

Sven Olaf Kamphuis, an internet activist and self-described spokesman for Cyberbunker, said the ongoing attack was retaliation for Spamhaus "abusing their influence," the New York Times cites him as saying.

"Nobody ever deputised Spamhaus to determine what goes and does not go on the internet," Kamphuis said. "They worked themselves into that position by pretending to fight spam."

But Patrick Gilmore, chief architect at Akamai Networks, a digital content provider, told the NYT that Cyberbunker were simply lashing out for being exposed.

''These guys are just mad. To be frank, they got caught. They think they should be allowed to spam,'' he said.

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