Hong Kong websites supporting pro-democracy protesters have been hitting with a series of cyber attacks that is described to be the largest in the history.
The powerful clash in Occupy Central protests in Hong Kong are not just happening in the streets but on the web too. Over the last few months, the said largest cyber attack ever recorded has been made against the two independent news media sites in Hong Kong, which have been covering the protests.
The websites, Pop Vote and Apple Daily have been the vocal supporters of pro-democracy protests, which carried out mock chief executive elections for Hong Kong. Cloudfare, which protects the two websites against the denial of the service attack, has exposed that ever since June; these websites have been attacked with exceptional size, pounding the websites with junks at notably 500 gigabits per second.
It has been “many times larger” compared to Spamhaus Cyber attack last year with slowing down the speed of Internet around the world which is 300 Gbps of the traffic attack. After that, the record has been reported with 400 Gbps DDoS attack in Europe.
Cloudfare CEO Matthew Prince said via phone interview that “It’s larger than any attack we’ve seen, and we’ve seen some of the biggest attacks the internet has seen.” Coudfare is providing DDoS protection service for PopVote and Apple Daily, a Hong Kong site that held unofficial civil referendum for expanding suffrage rights to Hong Kong. PopVote representatives could not get in touch with for a comment.
PopVote is originally targeted of these attacks in June and eventually included Apple Daily, enhancing their ability for evading protection measures by covering junk packets to be a legitimate traffic while using firepower of 5 botnets.
With the nature of the targeted websites, the blame has been pointed at the Chinese Government, however, Prince says we should not rush into judgment; “It’s safe to say the attackers are not sympathetic with Hong Kong democracy movement, but I don’t think we can necessarily say it’s the Chinese Government. It could very well be an individual, or someone trying to make the Chinese government look bad.”
Prince said, “We’re seeing over 250 million DNS requests per second, which is probably on par with the total DNS requests for the entire internet in a normal second.”
The key feature of Hong Kong attacks is the way how these attackers targeted the DNS infrastructure of the internet, a simple but popular way of performing DNS attacks.
According to Prince, these types of attacks will threaten the ability of the Internet for acting as the meritocratic landscape and creates more risks on the Internet. Lots of sites will rely with the firewall providers that in return will inform the ISP every time tis politically-motivated cyber attacks.
One security expert last said that this type of DDoS attacks might reach 800 Gbps in 2015. Tim Keanini, the chief technology officer from Lanscope said that “the reason of these attacks are getting larger is the simple fact that the pipes are getting larger. At these rates, you are limited by the capacity of some transit link to the victim. The bigger the pipes, the greater the volumetric attack.”