SpamHaus Targeted in Unprecedented DDoS Attack

SpamHaus Targeted in Unprecedented DDoS Attack
By Rose de Fremery

Last week, anti-spam watchdog group Spamhaus was subjected to an unpredecented Distributed Denial of Service (DDos) attack in which its domain name servers were overwhelmed with traffic, at one point coming in at more than 300 billion bits per second, from a large array of servers distributed across the Internet.

Dutch web host Cyberbunker is allegedly behind the assault, possibly having coordinated with Russian and Eastern European criminal organizations in the process. Reportedly the largest publicly announced DDoS incident of its kind according to The Huffington Post, it took several days to resolve. Spamhaus was able to stay online, albeit with considerable difficulty and significant assistance from third parties, throughout the course of the onslaught. As NPR notes, despite the enormity of the attack, the fundamental structure of the Internet itself was not threatened due to its inherently decentralized nature. Millions of users across Europe felt shockwaves in the form of degraded Internet access, however.

DDoS attacks themselves are nothing new. They have been making headlines since 2000, when eBay, Amazon and Yahoo were ground to a halt for a short period of time. For more information on how last week’s massive DDoS attack on SpamHaus unfolded, The New York Times has a helpful infographic outlining the course of events.

Rose de Fremery is Managing Editor of The Social Media Monthly.

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