Internet users across the globe were perturbed when their internet slowed down, thanks to a Dutch web-hosting company that created disruption and paved way to what security experts proclaimed as the biggest cyber attack in the history.
As had been reported, the global slowdown of the internet was caused by a row between a Geneva based Spam fighting group and Cyberbunker. Dutch company, Cyberbunker, that hosts any content except anything related to terrorism or child porn, was temporarily blocked by Spamhaus in a bid to help email providers get rid of spam along with other unwanted material.
To carry out this task, Spamhaus has maintained a record of blocklists or in other words a database of servers that is acknowledged to be used for offensive purposes. Spamhaus maintains that Cyberbunker is used by plethora of spammers as their host while spraying junk mail across the internet.
Recently, servers maintained by Cyberbunker were blocked by Spamhaus so as to put an end to its wicked spam generation. Minutes after their servers were blocked, Sven Olaf Kamphuis, spokesman of the company stated in a message that Spamhaus has abused his company’s position immensely and should not be given the authority to determine “what goes and does not goes on the internet”. In response to the statement, Spamhaus accused Cyberbunker to be working in collusion with “criminal gangs” hailing from Eastern Russia and Europe.
Detailing the attack, the chief executive of Spamhaus, Steve Linford said that since a week his company has been facing cyber attack of massive scale, capable of knocking its site offline.
“But we’re up – they haven’t been able to knock us down. Our engineers are doing an immense job in keeping it up – this sort of attack would take down pretty much anything else”, said Linford.
He further added that five cyber-police-forces from different parts of the world are investigating the attack, which is hitherto unprecedented. However, he refrained from providing more details owing to the apprehensions of the investigating forces that they might face similar attacks on their infrastructure.
Security experts are of the view that the attackers made use of the most sophisticated technique known as Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS). During this attack, Web’s infrastructure is targeted that slows down the performance of other sites. In Spamhaus’ case, its Domain Name System (DNS) servers were targeted, which perform the same function as an internet’s telephone directory, meant for joining domain names.
Touting the disruption as history’s biggest cyber attack, a report by New York Times, narrated that millions of ordinary internet users across the globe experienced delays in a number of services. Many websites remained inaccessible whereas live video streaming at Netflix was not available.
One can well imagine the intensity of the attack that hurt some of the prominent and large networks along with varying internet exchange points like the gigantic London Internet Exchange. However, reports emerging from across the world manifested that thousands of networks slowed down as an outcome of the attack.
Spamhaus in a recent update stated that they are still working to make things right, because of their hugely dispersed infrastructure in many countries.