If you felt like your Internet connection slowed down recently, it wasn't just you. A recent spat between a spam-fighting group and a web hosting company caused a global slowdown of the Internet according to an anti-spam organization. What resulted was the biggest publically announced distributed denial of service attack in history that caused congestion and traffic jams around the globe.
A spam-fighting group by the name of Spamhaus added a Dutch company known as Cyberbunker to their blacklist which as you may know, is used by e-mail providers to help weed out spam. Cyberbunker is a massive facility housed in an old five-story NATO bunker that offers web hosting services to any site with the exception of those hosting child pornography or anything related to terrorism.
Spamhaus then became the victim of a massive DDoS attack on March 15 according to John Reid, a spokesperson for Spamhaus. Patrick Gilmore, chief architect at digital content provider Akamai Networks, said Cyberbunker was just angry they got caught sending spam and think they should be allowed to.
If you aren't familiar with a DDoS attack, Gilmore likened it to someone with a machine gun peppering an entire crowd with bullets in an effort to shoot one particular person. As such, the attacks ultimately impacted millions of people around the globe as services like Netflix and others were down briefly. It's essentially like a nuclear bomb, said CloudFlare CEO Matthew Prince, because it's so easy to do a ton of damage.
Jordan Robson, a spokesperson for Cyberbunker, said via e-mail that the only thing they wish to say is that they do not, and never have, sent any spam.