LONDON (CBSMiami) – If some of your favorite websites loaded a little slower Wednesday, it wasn’t your imagination.
According to the New York Times, a Dutch web-hosting company launched a massive DDoS, or denial of service attack, was allegedly executed after the company was added to a blacklist from Spamhaus that is used by e-mail providers to eliminate spam.
The denial of service attack try to make sites or entire networks unavailable by overloading a server with a massive number of requests in an extremely short amount of time. The attacks can last as long as the attackers want to keep hammering the servers with requests.
According to the New York Times, “millions of ordinary Internet users have experienced delays in services like Netflix or could not reach a particular Web site for a short time.”
The Times said the attacks reached a magnitude of 300 billion bits per second, which is the largest denial of service attack ever.
The DDoS attack targeted the domain name system, or DNS, which the Times said is used by millions of computers to translate web sites into a string of numbers. Attackers hid sent messages that looked like they were from Spamhaus to the DNS which amplified the numbers and caused an onslaught of data aimed at the Spamhaus computers, according to the Times.
The Times said once Spamhaus requested outside help, other companies became the targets as well. The attacks started last week when an Internet security firm began trying to fight the attacks and quickly became a victim of the attacks.
Experts told the Times that a DNS attack, which the attackers used, cannot easily be stopped without halting the Internet.