London, United Kingdom – A Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attack against the Ministry of Justice’s website which brought it down today for several hours would have been difficult to defend against says IT security company MWR InfoSecurity.
Ian Shaw, Managing Director of the company, said: “This sort of attack is difficult to defend but to robust and secure websites they are not likely to cause any long term damage. They generally cause inconvenience to the user. The impact will vary depending on the service the site offers and the length of the downtime.”
Research has shown that DDoS attacks are increasing in both size and complexity. These are illegal in the UK under the Police and Justice Act 2006. However, there may not be similar laws in other countries where the attacks could be coordinated or launched from.
He added: “DDoS attacks rely on PCs and other devices being used to fire traffic at the target site, often without their owners being aware. Eventually with enough traffic aimed at a single site it will cause outages.”
“Sites such as GCHQ are hosted on content delivery networks, not directly controlled by the government. These content delivery networks provide some defence against DDoS attacks but in this case the attack was severe enough to cause an outage.”