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Spamhaus – The Biggest Online Attack Ever?

A recent attack on a spam filtering company has been labelled the biggest attack on the internet ever.

Spamhaus, an organisation that assists and advises email providers and ISPs internationally in spam filtering systems has fallen victim to a huge scale attack thought to be in retaliation to their ability to control online content. The company blocks emails sent from blacklisted servers, commonly known to distribute spam and malware. Spamhaus recently blocked all mail sent from servers hosted by Cyberbunker, a loosely ruled web hosting company based in the Netherlands.

The criminals used a DDoS (Distributed Denial and Service) attack to target the DNS servers of Spamhaus. The attack was recorded to hit at 300Gb per second, 7 times more aggressive than the average attack. Experts have predicted that the strength of the attack would bring down most government networks.

Due to the nature of Spamhaus’ business and their good relationships with the world’s largest internet companies the DNS servers were able to handle the attack. Other large networks agreed to absorb some of the traffic through their systems to prevent a network outage. A combination of these two factors meant the system remained live throughout the attack.

The attack has been reported to be carried out by Cyberbunker and a number of online gangs based in Eastern Europe as a protest against the control Spamhaus has over what and what isn’t received by its clients.

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