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Krebs website withstands historically large DDoS attack; enormous botnet suspected

Cybersecurity blog site KrebsOnSecurity, a frequent target of hackers, was barraged on Tuesday evening by an extraordinary distributed denial of service (DDoS) attack boasting a bandwidth between 620 and 665 Gbps – one of the largest such attacks in history.

Despite the massive assault, the website remained functional, according to site founder and investigative journalist Brian Krebs.

The primary method of attack was new and highly unusual, reported Krebs on his site: rather than using DNS reflection techniques, the perpetrators sent fake traffic designed to look like generic routing encapsulation (GRE) data packets, a protocol for point-to-point data sharing between network nodes. GRE traffic can't be spoofed like DNS traffic can, which suggests that the attack was the work of a giant botnet composed of "a large collection of hacked systems — possibly hundreds of thousands of systems,” Krebs wrote.

Akamai Technologies, KrebsOnSecurity's website performance solutions provider, informed Krebs that the largest attack the company had previously encountered was 363 Gbps.

Bradley Barth

As director of multimedia content strategy at CyberRisk Alliance, Bradley Barth develops content for online conferences, webcasts, podcasts video/multimedia projects — often serving as moderator or host. For nearly six years, he wrote and reported for SC Media as deputy editor and, before that, senior reporter. He was previously a program executive with the tech-focused PR firm Voxus. Past journalistic experience includes stints as business editor at Executive Technology, a staff writer at New York Sportscene and a freelance journalist covering travel and entertainment. In his spare time, Bradley also writes screenplays.

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