Thursday, March 28, 2013

Slow Internet? Blame A Hosting Firm And Spam Fighting Group

You're not alone if you feel as if your home internet is a bit sluggish. As reported by the BBC, security experts have claimed that the largest cyberattack in Internet history is taking place right now, which is slowing services like Hulu and YouTube to a crawl and making global websites unreachable.  Network security experts are worried that this can escalate to impact banking and email systems.

What's going on?

Spamhaus, a non-profit group that has headquarters in London and Geneva, helps organizations to fight spam by providing them with content filters. The group is able to do this by maintaining blacklists on malicious servers. 

Recently, Sapmhaus blacklisted Cyberbunker, a Dutch company that provides webhosting services and states that it will host any kind of website "except child porn and anything related to terrorism." 

Sven Olaf Kamphuis who has claimed to be a spokesman for Cyberbunker has said that Spamhaus was abusing its position and shouldn't have the power to decide "what goes and does not go on the Internet."

Spamhaus claims that Cyberbunker is in cahoots with 'criminal gangs' from Eastern Europe and Russia to coordinate DDoS attacks. Spamhaus claims these attacks started on March 19th and that these DDoS attacks are the largest in the history of the internet.

The technique "uses a long-known flaw in the Internet's basic plumbing," akin to "using a machine gun to spray an entire crowd when the intent is to kill one person." In other words, it's causing a major data pile-up.
Clogged Up
The effect that the DDoS is having is being felt globally. "If you imagine it as a motorway, attacks try and put enough traffic on there to clog up the on and off ramps," said Prof Alan Woodward, a cybersecurity expert at the University of Surrey.
"With this attack, there's so much traffic it's clogging up the motorway itself."
"They are targeting every part of the internet infrastructure that they feel can be brought down," said Steve Linford, chief executive for Spamhaus.
Due to the massive amount of resources that these attacks are taking on Spamhaus and the problems they are causing, additional companies like Google are stepping in to help Spamhaus absorb the attacks. 

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