Internet speeds around the world have noticeably slowed down due to a massive "distributed denial of service" attack, reports the BBC.
These DDoS attacks bombard targeted web servers with so much dummy traffic that people trying to access a site for legitimate purposes are unable to do so. It's most analogous to a traffic jam on a highway with no one able to move.
The BBC says that security experts are describing it as "the biggest cyber-attack in history."
The attacks were focused on a company called Spamhaus, which maintains a "domain name system" to connect a typed-in URL to the correct server hosting the appropriate content. With this company's services compromised, large portions of the web became less stable.
A Dutch web host called Cyberbunker states that it will host anything except child pornography or terrorism-related content. Spamhaus blocked Cyberbunker's servers in an effort to weed out any spammers that might host their content with the company.
Now Spamhaus is alleging that Cyberbunker is collaborating with a Russian and Eastern European criminal organizations to facilitate the attacks.
A DDoS attack of 50 gigabits per second is usually enough to take out a major bank. Spamhaus is seeing sustained attacks of 300 gigabits per second. It's only because of its distributed structure helping to effectively reduce the load that it's still operational.
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