Wednesday 27 March 2013

Cyber-battle Slows Down the Whole Net

Internet been dragging lately? Don’t blame your ISP. A gigantic cyber attack is slowing things down for everyone.
It all started with a tiff between spam-fighting group Spamhaus and server company CyberBunker. Spamhaus is a non-profit that works with companies worldwide to help filter spam. CyberBunker is a server company with an ‘anything goes’ policy and allows for anything with the exception of child pornography or terrorism-related material.
You might see where this is going.
Basically, Spamhaus fights spam with a series of blocklists that contain companies and servers that host spam. And recently, Spamhaus added CyberBunker to their blocklists.
Though still unconfirmed, Spamhaus claims that CyberBunker is taking revenge for the block and is behind massive cyber attacks aimed at Spamhaus’s DNS servers.
If you weren't sure, CyberBunker is
literally in a bunker.
Spamhaus said that CyberBunker is affiliated with several criminal organisations in Russia and Eastern Europe and that they have launched massive DDoS attacks that are pushing 300 GB/s of data onto Spamhaus’s servers.
DDoS, distributed denial of service, attacks target systems by flooding them with traffic. To put the current 300 GB/s attacks in perspective, the previous DDoS record achieved only 100 GB/s. That’s right. The current onslaught has not only broken the previous record, but tripled it.
Steve Linford, chief executive for Spamhaus, said the attacks are strong enough to bring down even the most robust systems.
"If you aimed this at Downing Street they would be down instantly," he said. "They would be completely off the internet…. Normally when there are attacks against major banks, we're talking about 50 gb/s."
In fact, the attacks are so big, they are slowing down the rest of the internet. Prof Alan Woodward, a cybersecurity expert at the University of Surrey explained the size and scope of the attacks in an interview with the BBC.
"If you imagine it as a motorway, attacks try and put enough traffic on there to clog up the on and off ramps…. With this attack, there's so much traffic it's clogging up the motorway itself."
Hopefully, we’ll see an end to this madness soon. But in the mean time, maybe think twice before ringing Vodafone with speed problems.

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