Internet slowed by one of the largest cyberattacks in history


An antispam group and an obscure group of attackers became engaged in what is being called “largest computer attacks on the Internet.” An unknown group allegedly retaliated against a Swiss-British organization that works to keep advertisements for things like fake diet pills out of the world’s inboxes called Spamhaus with a series of cyber-attacks of an unprecedented scale. Matthew Prince, the CEO of CloudFlare, the company enlisted to fight the attacks for Spamhaus, said that the attacks were so big they caused outages for the London and Hong Kong Internet exchanges.

“It is a small miracle that we’re still online,” Spamhaus researcher Vincent Hanna said.

Spamhaus became pummeled with what are known as distributed denial of service attacks. The scale of such attacks is measured in bits of data per second. Most cyber-attacks peak at around 100 billion bits per second. However, the assault on Spamhaus and later Cloudflare allegedly reached 300 billion bits per second.

“It was likely quite a bit more, but at some point measurement systems can’t keep up,” Prince wrote.

“This attack is the largest that has been publicly disclosed — ever — in the history of the Internet,” Patrick Gilmore of Akamai Technologies said.


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