| USWorld

Larger text Larger text Smaller text Smaller text | Order Photo Reprints

Cyberattacks hit anti-spam group at record pace

Email Newsletters

Sign up for one of our email newsletters.

Daily Photo Galleries

By The Associated Press
Wednesday, March 27, 2013, 10:00 p.m.

LONDON — A record-breaking cyberattack targeting an anti-spam watchdog group has sent ripples of disruption coursing across the Web, experts said on Wednesday.

Spamhaus, a site responsible for keeping ads for counterfeit Viagra and bogus weight-loss pills out of the world's inboxes, said it had been buffeted by the monster denial-of-service attack since mid-March — apparently from groups angry at being blacklisted by the Swiss-British group.

“It is a small miracle that we're still online,” Spamhaus researcher Vincent Hanna said.

Denial-of-service attacks overwhelm a server with traffic — like hundreds of letters being jammed through a mail slot at the same time. Security experts measure those attacks in bits of data per second. Recent cyberattacks — like the ones that caused persistent outages at U.S. banking sites late last year — have tended to peak at 100 billion bits per second.

But the furious assault on Spamhaus has shattered the charts, clocking in at 300 billion bits per second, according to San Francisco-based CloudFlare Inc., which Spamhaus has enlisted to help it weather the attack.

“This attack is the largest that has been publicly disclosed — ever — in the history of the Internet,” said Patrick Gilmore of Akamai Technologies.

It's unclear who exactly was behind the attack, although a man who identified himself as Sven Olaf Kamphuis said he was in touch with the attackers and described them as mainly consisting of disgruntled Russian Internet service providers who had found themselves on Spamhaus' blacklists. There was no immediate way to verify his claim.

Subscribe today! Click here for our subscription offers.



Show commenting policy

Most-Read World

  1. Russia’s crackdown in predominantly Muslim region fuels exodus to ISIS
  2. Brazil power brokers arrested on suspicion of blocking probe
  3. Bus carrying presidential guard targeted by bomber in Tunisia
  4. Palestinian artist who appealed blasphemy sentence of 800 lashes, prison sentenced to execution
  5. French lawmakers vote to continue airstrikes against ISIS
  6. Putin sends air defense missiles to Syria to deter Turkey
  7. Russian pilot rescued by Syrian commando unit
  8. Turkey shoots down Russian jet it says violated its airspace
  9. Pakistani doctor who led CIA to bin Laden stuck in prison
  10. Poland’s ruling party moves to stack top court
  11. Tunisia put under state of emergency