The Null Device
Posts matching tags 'ddos'
Lycos has scrapped a screensaver which launched denial-of-service attacks against spammers, after apparently rendering some spam-advertised sites unreachable. I'm in two minds about this: on one hand, as spammers have no respect for propriety, one could argue it's a case of live-by-the-sword, die-by-the-sword. On the other hand, vigilante action can turn into mob rule, with unpopularity standing in for guilt. What's to stop, for example, a right-wing warblog distributing a screensaver that does a DDOS on the Guardian Online, thousands of PCs in the Red States launching attacks on Planned Parenthood (in fact, I suspect the anti-abortion movement will adopt this tactic sooner or later, given that, to them, it's about saving lives), or radical-left groups using similar tactics to silence those they deem ideologically unsound? Indeed, if such tactics become mainstream, we could look forward to a future where people install cause-affiliated DDOS software on their computers as they once wore badges or ribbons, and debating one's opponents taking a back seat to the far less taxing and more fulfilling activity of shutting them down.
Another resourceful criminal use of the countless thousands of virussed Windows machines on the internet: online protection rackets, where the "businessmen" (predominantly from Eastern Europe) target a high-profile website and threaten to knock them offline with a massive DDOS attack unless they pay up. Online casinos (which make a lot of money and are in poorly-policed areas) are a popular target.
Most of the computers used are broadband-connected home Windows PCs owned by clueless people, of whom there is, sadly, no shortage; and it doesn't look like the problem is going to go away, at least not until a totalitarian "trusted computing" regime is imposed on the internet at the IP level, or something equally drastic happens. Which makes me wonder whether or not Microsoft are deliberately allowing viruses to flourish on their OS as to drive people into the highly profitable embrace of Big Brother.
Another reason to invade Iraq? A distributed denial-of-service attack disabled 9 of the 13 root servers running the Internet domain name system. (The article, cluelessly enough, refers to them as "Web servers".) Fortunately, the attack lasted only an hour and didn't cause major disruption.
The German government, ever vigilant against the neo-Nazi menace, is now reportedly contemplating using government sanctioned denial-of-service attacks to shut down overseas web sites that ban German hate-speech laws. German officials apparently deny these reports, whilst carefully not ruling out such tactics. Given that this has worked well for the Chinese government against Falun Gong websites overseas, it may be the censorship technique of the new millennium.