It's one for the history books. In what security experts are describing as the largest cyberattack in history, the world's Internet is being slowed down by a battle over spam.
At least five countries reportedly have investigators looking at the slowdown, and there is growing concern that the impact could affect worldwide commerce. Geneva-based Spamhaus, a non-profit organization that fights spam, recently put on its blacklists a Dutch hosting service, called Cyberbunker.
Spamhaus' blacklists are intended to help e-mail providers and others filter out spam by identifying the hosting sources. The non-profit organization said that it is under a massive Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attack by Cyberbunker, as reprisal for the blacklists.
A DDoS attack overwhelms a server with a barrage of requests, making it unavailable, and the main target of this DDoS attack has been Spamhaus' distributed Domain Name System (DNS) servers. The attacks began on March 19, and happen in spurts. Security firm Kaspersky Lab has described the current attack on Spamhaus as the "largest known DDos operation."
Cyberbunker, whose name refers to the five-story former NATO bunker in which it is housed, has a policy that it will host anything, excepting only terrorism- or child pornography-related material. Spamhaus has said that Cyberbunker is working with criminal organizations in Eastern Europe and Russia.
Spamhaus Chief Executive Steve Linford told the BBC that the attack has been ongoing for more than a week, and that his organization's engineers are successfully battling back an attack that "would take down pretty much anything else." Spamhaus said that the peaks of the attacks are 300 gigabits per second, while attacks against major banks are usually in the 50 Gbps range.
Linford said that national police forces investigating the attacks are keeping a low profile out of concern that they might also be subject to a barrage on their Net infrastructure. After Spamhaus requested help from an Internet security firm in California, CloudFlare, that firm then became a target -- as did companies that handle transmissions between the two organizations.
Spamhaus has distributed its infrastructure across several countries, which gives it more flexibility to deal with reprisals. The organization says it has 80 servers around the world that create the largest DNS around, and so an attack on Spamhaus's DNS is an attack throughout the world.
Domain Name System computers translate the text in Web addresses into numerical IP addresses that computers use, so if a DNS server is unavailable, Web users routed to that server cannot access Web sites.
Given the size of the attack, the spillover is threatening other avenues in the global Net. Spamhaus is supported by major Internet companies that want to counter spam, and Linford has noted that Google, in particular, is assisting by helping to absorb some of the traffic.
They 'Got Caught'
According to The New York Times, ordinary Net users have been experiencing delays in the last few days in reaching Web sites or streaming videos from Netflix.
For its part, a Cyberbunker spokesperson has told news media that it does not, and "never" has, sent any spam.
Akamai Networks' chief architect, Patrick Gilmore, told the Times that Cyberbunker "got caught," and added that "they think they should be allowed to spam." Cyberbunker's Web site says that "Dutch authorities and the police," as well as a Dutch SWAT team, have "made several attempts to enter the bunker by force," but none of the attempts were successful.
Posted: 2013-04-11 @ 2:20am PT
It is not good, plz stop such unsocial creativity, please.
Posted: 2013-03-28 @ 9:56am PT
Is there anything that world wide anti virus/spam killer or web attack venders such as McAfee,Microsoft or Kasper sky have anything to say on this subject??