If DDoS Attacks are the Atomic Bomb, Watch The Keys People

19 May, 2012 08:54PM ยท 2 minute read

A recent series of events has been unfolding in the UK where a decision by the high court forced Virgin Media (an Internet Service Provider amongst other things) to block the popular bit-torrent site “The Pirate Bay” (TPB) from its users. In retaliation the hacker group Anonymous started a DDoS attack on Virgin Media. TBP issued a statement on their Facebook page (scroll down to 9th of May, 2012) objecting to the Anonymous DDoS attack on Virgin Media. Within a few days TPB found themselves under a DDoS attack.

For a while it was not clear who was behind this attack however recently someone calling themselves Nyre has claimed responsibility. Their name on Twitter is @anonnyre and this post link currently works. In short Nyres logic or command of English does not make a great deal of sense to me.

What I find interesting in this whole series of events is how vulnerable the design of the internet is to such “attacks”. Truly they are the Atomic Bomb of the Internet - whereby dropping such a bomb wipes out all communication with the intended target site very effectively. There are ways to counter such attacks given time and filtering and then a cat and mouse game ensues and it can drag on for some time - days or even weeks.

Like an Atomic Bomb a DDoS attack requires some advanced knowledge, with software installed (usually in secret and maliciously) on a great number of computers around the world to make it work. The analogy ends when the person with the keys to an Atomic Bomb is not the scientist or engineer but the military - who are very careful who they give the keys to. With a DDoS attack, a brilliant programmer/hacker is unlikely to be as objective or careful who/what their targets are and they - the creator - have the keys to their own bomb. That should worry all of us…