[ISN] Spyware Critic Knocked Offline by DDoS Attack

InfoSec News isn at c4i.org
Thu Feb 10 05:23:53 EST 2005


By Ryan Naraine 
February 9, 2005

Harvard researcher Ben Edelman, one of the most vocal critics of
spyware purveyors, fell victim to a massive DDoS (distributed
denial-of-service) attack over the past 24 hours.

Edelman's Web site, which publishes detailed research reports on
spyware, was knocked offline for much of Monday and Tuesday by a DDoS
attack that crippled the server capacity.

"My prior Web host tells me I was the target of the biggest DDoS
attack they've ever suffered—some 600MB per second," Edelman said.

He told eWEEK.com the site was an obvious target for denial-of-service
attacks because of his work to uncover controversial online schemes
ranging from software installations through security holes to adware
companies deleting each other's programs.

Edelman's published reports also have highlighted venture capital
investments in adware companies and detailed step-by-step evidence of
"drive-by downloads" and confusing software-installation techniques.

"These aren't nice practices, so I suppose it comes as no surprise
that someone - perhaps some group or company that doesn't like what
I'm writing - has sought to knock my site offline," Edelman said.
Denial-of-service attacks are used by malicious hackers to flood a
network with bogus requests, effectively slowing or crashing a server.  
"The bad guys have thousands or millions of zombies to use in [these
attacks]," Edelman said.

With the help of the nonprofit Internet Systems Consortium Inc., which
has offered to host the site, Edelman said his research material was
back online Wednesday morning.

Edelman is a Ph.D. candidate at the Department of Economics at Harvard
University and a student at Harvard Law School.

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