Gizmodo’s Sam Biddle called out the news of this attack as reported on the New York Times and BBC to be “a lie”. Biddle noted that several Internet traffic monitoring companies did not detect any spike in global Internet traffic, which regularly sees terabytes of traffic per second. John Ellis, enterprise security director of Akamai Technologies (Asia Pacific), also concurred when approached by The Star‘s Tan Kit Hoong.
“Such an attack could hurt certain geographically isolated countries that have a very finite Internet bandwidth, but the Internet per se does not have a central/single point of failure,” Ellis noted. Ellis did concede that some performance issues may arise when accessing sites hosted by the servers under attack, but local sites are pretty much unaffected.
If you have been experiencing significantly slower Internet speeds recently, you’re not the only one. And, contrary to the usual barrage of complaints, it is also not the fault of our local Internet service providers (ISPs). Instead, what we’re all experiencing at the moment is the aftermath of what has been billed “the biggest cyberattack in history”.
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As the BBC reports, an NGO responsible for filter out spam for email providers has come under attack by Dutch web host Cyberbunker, after the Spamhaus (as the NGO is called) blocked servers maintained by Cyberbunker. A spokesman for Cyberbunker reasoned that Spamhaus was abusing its power and should not be allowed to decide “what goes and does not go on the internet”. Spamhaus is actually supported by many of the world’s largest internet companies who rely on the company’s services.
The result? Concentrated periods of Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attacks on Spamhaus’ servers, with attacks peaking at three times greater than the previous record attack of 100 gigabits per second in 2010. Also, the attacks have been going on for over a week, but Spamhaus’ servers have so far managed to resist the attacks. In addition, five national cyber-police forces around the world are conducting investigations on the attack.
One of the main reasons behind Spamhaus’ impressive capability to withstand the attacks is the company’s team of engineers holding the fort, as well as its 80 servers which are distributed across several countries. In addition, several companies, including Google, have reached out to help distribute the crippling amount of traffic – which explains the general slowdown in Internet speeds globally.
(Image Credit: Mashable)