Feeds

'Most sophisticated DDoS' ever strikes Hong Kong democracy poll

Cloudflare claims tip-off allowed it to tip traffic into sinkholes

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

One of the largest and most sophisticated distributed denial of service (DDOS) attacks has hit a controversial online democracy poll canvassing opinion on future Hong Kong elections.

Over the weekend some 680,000 people cast votes in the unofficial poll that offered residents of special administrative region to highlight their preferred political representatives.

Candidates were officially chosen by a 1,200-strong committee that was widely considered to be very sympathetic to Beijing.

Security outfit CloudFlare said it was still fending off the sophisticated DDoS attack as of Monday morning, long after the polls closed.

The company's founder and CEO Matthew Prince said it was the most sophisticated attack yet seen.

"We saw 300Gbps at the peak of the attack, but it was likely significantly larger than that," Prince told The Register.

"This may well have been the largest attack we, or anyone else, have ever seen. It definitely was the most sophisticated."

While perpetrators were not named, Popvote.hk was an obvious direct threat to Beijing which had planned to introduce universal suffrage for Hong Kong by 2017 at the earliest.

Cloudflare says it was tipped off ahead of the compute-draining attacks and set up a series of DNS sinkholes that stonewalled the attack traffic so it never reached Cloudflare or Popvote.hk.

"Since we had advanced warning the attack was coming, we'd put in place measures to sinkhole traffic in certain regions so it never hit our network," Prince said.


The website was closed off to residents outside of Hong Kong to minimise load on the site. ®

Beginner's guide to SSL certificates

More from The Register

next story
Russian hackers exploit 'Sandworm' bug 'to spy on NATO, EU PCs'
Fix imminent from Microsoft for Vista, Server 2008, other stuff
Microsoft pulls another dodgy patch
Redmond makes a hash of hashing add-on
FYI: OS X Yosemite's Spotlight tells Apple EVERYTHING you're looking for
It's on by default – didn't you read the small print?
'LulzSec leader Aush0k' found to be naughty boy not worthy of jail
15 months home detention leaves egg on feds' faces as they grab for more power
Forget passwords, let's use SELFIES, says Obama's cyber tsar
Michael Daniel wants to kill passwords dead
FBI boss: We don't want a backdoor, we want the front door to phones
Claims it's what the Founding Fathers would have wanted – catching killers and pedos
Kill off SSL 3.0 NOW: HTTPS savaged by vicious POODLE
Pull it out ASAP, it is SWISS CHEESE
prev story

Whitepapers

Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Cloud and hybrid-cloud data protection for VMware
Learn how quick and easy it is to configure backups and perform restores for VMware environments.
Three 1TB solid state scorchers up for grabs
Big SSDs can be expensive but think big and think free because you could be the lucky winner of one of three 1TB Samsung SSD 840 EVO drives that we’re giving away worth over £300 apiece.
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.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.