Feeds

US websites buckle under sustained DDoS attacks

South Korea, too

Build a business case: developing custom apps

Websites belonging to the federal government, regulatory agencies and private companies have been struggling against sustained online attacks that began on the Independence Day holiday, according to multiple published reports.

At time of writing, most of the targets appeared to be afloat. Nonetheless, several targets have buckled under the DDoS, or distributed denial of service, attacks, which try to bring down a website by bombarding it with more traffic than it can handle. FTC.gov was experiencing "technical issues" on Monday and Tuesday that prevented many people from reaching the site, spokesman Peter Kaplan said.

Other sites, including FAA.gov, Treas.gov and DOT.gov also experienced outages, a person said familiar with the attacks told The Register. DOT spokeswoman Sasha Johnson said late Tuesday: "The DOT has been experiencing network incidents since this past weekend. We are working with the US Computer Emergency Readiness Team at this time."

Both Kaplan and Johnson declined to say whether their agencies' sites were under attack.

The DDoS attacks appear to be originating from compromised computers located primarily in the Asia Pacific region and are being delivered as plain-vanilla floods of ping, syn and UDP packets, said the person, who asked not to be identified because he wasn't authorized to share the details.

The attacks came as South Korean websites operated by the government and private companies also were hit, the Associated Press reported here. In all, 26 websites, including those run by Nasdaq, the New York Stock Exchange and the Washington Post are being targeted, according to The Washington Post, which also covered the attacks.

There seems to be some confusion about just how powerful the attacks are. The person familiar with the attacks said they were relatively modest.

"Most are easy to mitigate," the person familiar with them said. "I'm surprised any of these attacks are as effective as they are."

But an unidentified person briefed by government investigators told IDG News the attacks directed as much as 20 gigabytes to 40 gigabytes of bandwidth per second during their height over the weekend. They have since settled down to about 1.2 gigabytes per second, IDG said. ®

The essential guide to IT transformation

More from The Register

next story
Rupert Murdoch says Google is worse than the NSA
Mr Burns vs. The Chocolate Factory, round three!
Microsoft cries UNINSTALL in the wake of Blue Screens of Death™
Cache crash causes contained choloric calamity
e-Borders fiasco: Brits stung for £224m after US IT giant sues UK govt
Defeat to Raytheon branded 'catastrophic result'
Germany 'accidentally' snooped on John Kerry and Hillary Clinton
Dragnet surveillance picks up EVERYTHING, USA, m'kay?
Know what Ferguson city needs right now? It's not Anonymous doxing random people
U-turn on vow to identify killer cop after fingering wrong bloke
Snowden on NSA's MonsterMind TERROR: It may trigger cyberwar
Plus: Syria's internet going down? That was a US cock-up
Who needs hackers? 'Password1' opens a third of all biz doors
GPU-powered pen test yields more bad news about defences and passwords
Think crypto hides you from spooks on Facebook? THINK AGAIN
Traffic fingerprints reveal all, say boffins
prev story

Whitepapers

Endpoint data privacy in the cloud is easier than you think
Innovations in encryption and storage resolve issues of data privacy and key requirements for companies to look for in a solution.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Top 8 considerations to enable and simplify mobility
In this whitepaper learn how to successfully add mobile capabilities simply and cost effectively.
Solving today's distributed Big Data backup challenges
Enable IT efficiency and allow a firm to access and reuse corporate information for competitive advantage, ultimately changing business outcomes.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.