Pissing Match Between Websites Exaggerated Into Webpocalypse

03.28.13 5 years ago 3 Comments

If you’ve been paying attention to the news, you may have noticed breathless reports that a massive distributed denial of service attack (DDoS) coordinated by a bunch of Dutch guys in a bunker against an anti-spam website was Going To Destroy The Interwebs As We Know Them, or at least Netflix.

Considering you’re reading this with nary a blip in your Internet service, you might be wondering what’s going on. Let us explain!

First, the principal players:

  • CyberBunker, a Dutch company that hosts any website short of child-porn or terrorism related content.
  • Spamhaus, a privately operated anti-spam organization with a widely respected, and used, blacklist.
  • CloudFlare, which is basically a company that defends against DDoS attacks and works for Spamhaus among other clients.

CyberBunker, as you might have guessed, is not a fan of Spamhaus, and the vitriol is mutual. Spamhaus finally pulled the trigger and blacklisted CyberBunker.

Considering that CyberBunker has allegedly played host to a lot of DDoS attacks, what came next was less than surprising in everything except volume: A DDoS attack that might be one of the largest ever recorded in an attempt to shut down Spamhaus’ website, with over 300 GB of traffic attempting to overload Spamhaus’ servers. You know, because blackmailing the people you’re accusing of blackmail is an awesome strategy.

To be fair, there are arcane, technical reasons that nerds are concerned about attacks of this scale, but it’s largely theoretical since the backbone of the Internet takes far more that 300 GB of traffic on a second’s basis.

CloudFlare went out and did its job: Spamhaus got through the attacks with a minimum of disruption. But then CloudFlare put up a gloating blog post about “The DDoS That Nearly Broke The Internet”. It’s a fairly technical document interspersed with ad copy, pretty similar to stuff you’ll find on the blogs of any company of this type.

But that was good enough for the New York Times and BBC to take it as fact. And if the two most respected new organizations in the world believe it, it must be true, right?

CloudFlare isn’t the only one guilty of puffing itself up: CyberBunker claims that the Dutch police attempted to raid the premises, but that’s apparently a load of digital manure as well. In short, your Internet is fine, unless you’re Dutch and going to a few specific sites. Continue as you were.

Except you, Melvin. Dear God, what you do online is disgusting. You need to take a hard, hard look at yourself, young man.

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