Internet speed slowed by biggest ever attack

Cyber attack affects internet speed

A cyber attack described as the largest in the history of the internet has had a significant impact on connection speeds around the world.

The cause of the problem is a huge attack on Spamhaus, an organisation committed to reducing spam and other unwanted material on the internet. With bases in London and Geneva, the group maintains a large number of blocklists, which are designed to prevent the operation of servers which are known to be used for spam or other malicious content.

Spamhaus's actions have drawn the ire of Cyberbunker, a Dutch hosting company that states it will host almost anything, with the only exceptions being terrorist materials or illegal images. Cyberbunker issued a statement through spokesman Sven Olaf Kamphuis, stating that Spamhaus does not have the right to decide "what goes and does not go on the internet" and that they were abusing their position by doing so. Cyberbunker have not claimed responsibility for the attack on Spamhaus, and were not available for comment when questioned by the BBC.

Steve Linford, chief executive of Spamhaus said that the attack had been going on for over a week, commenting "Our engineers are doing an immense job in keeping [Spamhaus] up - this sort of attack would take down pretty much anything else". The company believes that Cyberbunker are behind the attacks, working with criminal gangs from Eastern Europe and Russia.

Internet slowed by attack

A strong internet connection is extremely important to the everyday lives of many people around the world, with both businesses and private users dependent on the services the internet provides. The recent arrival of 4G in the United Kingdom gave a welcome boost to users internet connectivity, and as yet it does not appear that users in Britain have been overly affected by the slowdowns.

This attack on Spamhaus has caused internet traffic to slow in many countries, with a total of five cyber police forces investigating the issue.

The attacks being performed on Spamhaus are known as Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS), with these attacks flooding websites with incredibly large amounts of traffic in an attempt to crash the servers. While DDoS are by no means a new tactic, the size of this attack is estimated to be six times larger than usual. Linford stated: "If you aimed this at Downing Street they would be down instantly".

Adrian Mursec, senior developer at theEword remarked: "It is a testament to the strength of Spamhaus that their servers have been able to withstand these attacks at all. With servers in more than 80 countries across the globe, they have created the biggest DNS sever in existence and are a key part of helping provide spam free internet to the world."