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Tech Wednesday, March 27th 2013 at 2:25 pm

There’s a Huge Cyber Attack Slowing Down the Internet Because of Spam

Noticing a bit of a lag online today? If you are, you might be able to thank an ongoing battle between anti-spam organization Spamhaus and alleged spammer safe-haven Cyberbunker. Spamhaus is currently under fire from a massive DDoS attack believed to be coming from Cyberbunker. How massive is the attack? 300 gigabits per second massive. That’s huge, and it’s slowing down other parts of the Internet, important parts — like Netflix.

Spamhaus maintains lists of service providers known to house spammers, and they give these lists to email providers to help keep spam down to a reasonable level. Think of how much spam you get now, and then imagine how much worse it would be without someone making lists of spammers to give your email provider.

Cyberbunker, though not admitting to any involvement with the attacks, was recently put on one such list. They tout themselves as an ISP that’s willing to house anything but child porn and terrorist sites. That’s a short list of things they stay away from, and spam is not on it.

A Distributed Denial of Service or DDoS attack is when the attacker sends huge amounts of traffic to a target site in the hopes that it will slow service or even crash. The DDoS against Spamhaus has been going on for over a week, says the chief executive of Spamhaus Steve Linford, but it hasn’t managed to take down the site.

“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.

Spamhaus is confident in their ability to survive the attack, even though the traffic it’s doing would likely crash government sites. The reason for their nonchalance in the face of a massive attack is that Spamhaus is spread out over eighty servers around the world, and isn’t a centralized entity.

Spamhaus doesn’t seem concerned about the attacks, but the attack is so huge it’s impacting the rest of the web due to its sheer volume. There are cyber police forces from five countries around the world working to try to shut the DDoS attackers down, and hopefully they’ll get it done soon. I just found out the old X-Men cartoon is on Netflix, so I’d like to see things back up to speed as soon as possible.

(via BBC, image via rexhammock)

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