ExtremeTech writes a massive distributed denial of service (DDoS) attack launched against spam filtering firm Spamhaus slowed down the Internet this week. Traffic peaked at over 300Gbps, in what is now being called the biggest cyber-attack in history. Interestingly, Spamhaus managed to survive the attack by working with cloud optimization and security company CloudFlare. The service remained up and functional, for most part, thanks to load-balancing the traffic to 23 data centers around the globe to dilute the attack. The downside however is that many other websites got hit by slower load times than usual due to this unusual high spike of traffic.
So, what provoked this attack? A Dutch web host named Cyberbunker was recently blacklisted by Spamhaus. Starting a little over a week ago, the anti-spam organization started getting hit with a large-scale DDoS. Reportedly, the attack would be more than enough to knock down even government infrastructure. Now, Spamhaus is accusing Cyberbunker of hiring Eastern European organized crime outfits to take down the blacklist servers in retaliation.
Spam By using techniques like DNS reflection, the attackers have been slamming Spamhaus for over a week. Steve Linford, CEO of Spamhaus, says that while attacks on large banks usually see peak traffic of 50Gbps, Spamhaus is seeing peaks over six times that amount. “This is definitely huge and [Spamhaus] has an infrastructure that gets hit with this stuff all the time, so for them to have issues with it makes it that much larger,” Adam Wosotowsky, Messaging Data Architect at McAfee Labs, told ExtremeTech today.