World's biggest DDoS attack blamed for slowing down global Internet speeds

DDoS attack blamed but there could actually be other reasons for slow Internet.

Published Date
28 - Mar - 2013
| Last Updated
28 - Mar - 2013
World's biggest DDoS attack blamed for slowing down global Intern...

A massive DDoS (Distributed Denial of Service) attack levelled against Dutch anti-spam group Spamhaus may be causing global Internet speeds to fall, news reports have claimed. A BBC report states that the DDoS attack entailed Spamhaus’ servers being assaulted by 300 Gb/s of data through a technique called DNS reflection.According to an executive at security firm Arbor Networks, the largest DDoS attack before this one comprised of a peak data rate of 100 Gb/s. While speaking to the BBC, cybersecurity expert Alan Woodward said that this massive traffic was resulting in falling Internet speeds across the world.

The DDoS attack against Spamhaus comes in the wake of the blacklisting of Cyberbunker, a Dutch web hosting service, by the anti-spamming group. Cyberbunker, whose infamous and unofficial motto is that it will host anything that’s not child pornography or terrorism related, has been accused by Spamhaus of colluding with Eastern-European criminal gangs to wage the DDoS attack in retaliation for the blacklisting. Cyberbunker has rejected the accusations and has instead pointed a finger towards Stophaus, an online group formed by ISPs and users disgruntled by Spamhaus. While speaking to RT, Sven Olaf Kamphuis, a spokesman for Cyberbunker, also accused Spamhaus of falsely accusing ISPs of being spammers and blacklisting them without any evidence.

Kamphuis also claimed that the DDoS attack wasn’t causing Internet speeds to fall and blamed CloudFlare, the security firm that helped Spamhaus deal with the attack, for exaggerating information in order to show itself in good light. Gizmodo also gave this claim some degree of veracity by pointing out that no other company, apart from CloudFlare and Spamhaus, that relies on the Web has come out with reports of service outage. Also, sites that monitor global Internet speeds and general service health didn’t show any major anomalies generated by the DDoS attack.

However, many users in India did complain of slow speeds yesterday but that could probably be blamed on undersea cables near Egypt being cut- cables that provided Internet access to parts of Asia and Africa. Other Internet gateways providing services to Europe and India were also undergoing maintenance at the same time, which may have also been directly responsible to slow Internet speeds rather than the DDoS attack.

Spamhaus has said that law enforcement agencies from five different countries have started investigations in response to the DDoS attack.

Sources: BBC, RT, Gizmodo, GigaOM

Nikhil PradhanNikhil Pradhan