Millions of people around the world have been affected by slow internet speeds after an unprecedented attack.

A row between two web companies has escalated into the biggest ever online attack
Photo: ALAMY
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A Dutch web-hosting company caused disruption and the global slowdown of the internet, according to a not-for-profit anti-spam organization.

The interruptions came after Spamhaus, a spam-fighting group based in Geneva, temporarily added the Dutch firm, CyberBunker, to a blacklist that is used by e-mail providers to weed out spam.

Cyberbunker is housed in a five-story former NATO bunker and famously offers its services to any website “except child porn and anything related to terrorism". As such it has often been linked to behaviour that anti-spam blacklist compilers have condemend.

It retaliated with a huge 'denial of service attack'. These work by trying to make a network unavailable to its intended users,overloading a server with coordinated requests to access it. At one point, 300 billion bits per second were being sent by a network of computers, making this the biggest attack ever.

The attack was particularly potent because it exploited the 'domain name system', which acts like the telephone directory of the internet and are used every time a web address is entered into a computer.

Patrick Gilmore, of digital content provider Akamai Networks told the New York Times that Cyberbunker did not believe spamming users was wrong. “These guys are just mad. To be frank, they got caught," he alleged. "They think they should be allowed to spam.”

Calling the disruptions “one of the largest computer attacks on the Internet,” the New York Times reported today that millions of ordinary web users have experienced delays in services such as Netflix video-streaming service or couldn’t reach a certain website for a short time.

“The size of the attack hurt some very large networks and internet exchange points such as the London Internet Exchange,” John Reid, a spokesman for Spamhaus, said in an e-mailed response to questions by Bloomberg News. “It could be thousands, it could be millions. Due to our global infrastructure, the attackers target places all over the world.”

 

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http://www.telegraph.co.uk/technology/internet-security/9957063/Web...

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Thanks for the Info Site Admin!  Useful to know!!  I hate Spam!  unless it comes out of a tin! 

I certainly found that particular sites I tried linking to had error messages, not the usual 404, but 505 designation. Interestingly they were all alternative media sites like WRH etc

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