'Biggest Attack Ever' Impacts Web Users as Spamhaus Falls Victim to Retaliation

If you’re having trouble reaching a website or streaming a Netflix movie today, you can thank activists claiming association to an outfit known as Cyberbunker, whom are said to be conducting “the largest known DDoS operation” ever, as we speak.

The anti-spam group Spamhaus temporarily added web-hosting provider Cyberbunker to its blacklist recently, prompting an angry response from Cyberbunker and sympathetic activists.  Spamhaus maintains a domain name system upon which a multitude of websites rely to map their numeric site addresses to the user-friendly URLs we more commonly recognize.  Under assault from DDoS attacks, many of Spamhaus’ hosted websites intermittently become inaccessible.

Cyberbunker is not known for being selective about its customers; it has been criticized for being host to many spammers.  The company says it will “host anything except child pornography or terrorism-related content.”  When the company was temporarily blacklisted by Spamhaus in an attempt to protect internet users from spam, Cyberbunker – or activists acting on behalf of Cyberbunker – openly retaliated with distributed denial of service attacks

Though a response from a spokesman for Cyberbunker would only state, “we do not, and never have, sent
any spam,” an activist purportedly representing those carrying out the attack was more forthcoming, according to The Telegraph.

Sven Olaf Kamphuis, an internet activist who told the New York Times he was a spokesman for the attackers, said that Cyberbunker was retaliating against Spamhaus for “abusing their influence” as the gatekeeper of lists of spammers. “Nobody ever deputized Spamhaus to determine what goes and does not go on the Internet,” he claimed. “They worked themselves into that position by pretending to fight spam.”

Spamhaus has been a target of other attacks in recent days leading up to March 18th, including another DDoS attack that it says was carried out by a Russian criminal malware gang. 

An article from Business Insider today indicates “Spamhaus is alleging that Cyberbunker is collaborating with a Russian and Eastern European criminal organizations to facilitate [today’s] attacks.”  It is not yet known whether the incidents and/or groups are connected.