Tags: spam | fighter | cyber | attacks

Cyberwar Explodes on Internet as Spammers Try to Get Even

Wednesday, 27 Mar 2013 01:43 PM

By Bill Hoffmann

An Internet group considered the world’s leading spam-fighter says it’s been hit with a series of nonstop cyberattacks by spam-sending operations affected by its efforts, creating havoc for computer users worldwide.

The attacks are so powerful, experts fear they could eventually affect online banking, email, and other services.

Spamhaus, based in Switzerland, sends out round-the-clock updates on Internet service providers that allow spammers — who send out millions of unsolicited bulk messages — to flourish. It also blacklists those groups.

But since March, Spamhaus has been pummeled with endless "denial-of-service" assaults that have come close to shutting it down — apparently sent by spamming groups determined to get even.

According to The New York Times, the attacks have caused millions of regular Internet users to experience delays in services like Netflix or have trouble reaching websites.

Cybersecurity expert Alan Woodward told the BBC the attacks are causing a global traffic jam on the Web.

"If you imagine it as a motorway, attacks try and put enough traffic on there to clog up the on and off ramps. With this attack, there’s so much traffic it’s clogging up the motorway itself," he said.

The Times reports the cyberwar began when Spamhaus added Cyberbunker, a Holland-based company that offers Web hosting, to its blacklist for allegedly allowing spammers to operate.

"These guys are just mad. To be frank, they got caught. They think they should be allowed to spam," Patrick Gilmore, of the digital content provider Akamai Networks, told the newspaper.

Steve Linford, chief executive for Spamhaus, told the BBC the attacks have been powerful enough to potentially take down government Internet infrastructures.

Cyberdetectives from all over the world are now working to stop the attacks before they can cause cataclysmic damage.

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