Internet Armageddon a hoax?

(QMI Agency/MIKE DREW)

(QMI Agency/MIKE DREW)

QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 2:46 AM ET

The cyber attack that "almost broke the Internet" might have been just another Internet hoax.

Details emerged Wednesday about a prolonged blitz on Spamhaus, a Europe-based non-profit website that keeps real-time lists of blocked websites used by Internet providers and other large networks all over the world to filter out spam.

Since March 19 the site has been barraged with DDoS (Distributed Denial of Service) attacks, overwhelming the infrastructure of the Internet with data — reportedly reaching 300 billion bits per second.

The ensuing slowdown "would have affected hundreds of millions of people even as they surfed sites unrelated to Spamhaus," website security company CloudFlare, hired to help Spamhaus, wrote in a blog post called "The DDoS That Almost Broke the Internet."

Some news outlets speculated that services like Netflix would be markedly slower.

But Netflix reported no such problem. Nor did any global sites like Facebook or Amazon.

The attacks were alleged to have been the work of Dutch web-hosting company CyberBunker, which is in a public dispute with Spamhaus over being put on a blocklist.

But Gizmodo, while acknowledging the attacks are real, suggested the whole thing felt like a publicity stunt, mostly on the part of CloudFlare — a company that profits directly from Internet security.

A CloudFlare representative told QMI Agency in an e-mail, "You might take issue with the headline, but the facts remain: This was the largest DDoS attack on record (validated by experts outside CloudFlare)."

Maybe so, but if the Internet was broken on Wednesday, nobody seemed to notice.


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