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HOME OFFICE / INDUSTRY

"Like Nuclear Bombs": Biggest Cyber Attack Ever On The Net

By Oonagh Reidy | Thursday | 28/03/2013

Internet slows as 'biggest cyber attack ever' hits the WWW.


Click to enlarge
The attack follows a row between a European-based spam filtering organisation called The Spamhaus Project, who is blocking servers belonging to Cyberbunker, a web hosting firm based in Netherlands, reports BBC. 

Cyberbunker is said to be behind a series of retaliation attacks on Spamhaus, in the form of Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) which the anti-spam org. is calling unprecedented. 

Spamhaus claims the Dutch hosting firm is in cahoots with criminal gangs from Russia and Eastern Europe to help carry out the attacks on its web infrastructure. 

DDoS attacks redirect mass traffic to a target website - to Spamhaus in this case - attacking its infrastructure and slowing down other sites.

The DDoS attacks have been likened to "nuclear bombs," according to one security expert, and deemed big enough to shut down any website or government organisation even the high security British government, says Spamhaus CEO Steve Linford. 

But it hasn't knocked over The Spamhaus Project's site yet, he says.

Web giants, including Google, are helping Spamhaus fight the massive traffic influx, designed to break its systems and if so, could lead to a spam explosion. 

"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," Linford told BBC. 

"These attacks are peaking at 300 gb/s (gigabits per second). Normally when there are attacks against major banks, we're talking about 50 gb/s." 

Internet services worldwide are now said to be similar to the dial-up days of the 1990's. 

Police in five countries are said to be investigating the issue, which could have serious ramifications for web users, and other organisations such as banks, and other service providers who rely heavily on Internet, if the dispute goes further. 

The Spamhaus Project may be responsible for up to 80% of all spam blocked worldwide, one expert told CNN.

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