BBC hit by a DDoS attack

BBC hit by a DDoS attack

Summary: The British Broadcasting Corporation ( was hit by a DDoS attack on Thursday, according to a statement sent to the Inquirer :"In a statement to the INQ, the BBC said the attack originated in a number of different countries but didn't specify which.

TOPICS: Security

BBC DDoS AttackThe British Broadcasting Corporation ( was hit by a DDoS attack on Thursday, according to a statement sent to the Inquirer :

"In a statement to the INQ, the BBC said the attack originated in a number of different countries but didn't specify which. When the Beeb's techies blocked international access to a limited subset of servers, it resulted in a marked improvement of the serving of Service supplier Siemens was forced to block addresses and prevent the attack using other methods like changing the DNS settings."

The attack appears to have lasted for 1 hour and 15 minutes, which is the longest time the site has been offline during the entire 2008, was also confirmed by the distributed uptime monitoring company Pingdom earlier today :

"During the attack, the BBC website responded very slowly, and our monitoring shows that for a total of 1 hour and 15 minutes it did not respond at all. The downtime was spread over multiple short intervals, lasting just a few minutes each time. The attack lasted the entire evening. It started to have an effect after 5 p.m. CET and the performance was not back to normal until after 10 p.m. CET. Analyzing the response times of the website clearly shows the effect the DDoS attack had on the performance of the BBC website. The diagram below shows the hourly average load time of the HTML page (just the HTML page, without any images, external scripts, etc)."

Was the attack an act of hacktivism based on a particular article that somehow contradicted with the attackers' perspective of the world? With the lack of specific details regarding the DDoS attack provided by the BBC, we may never know. One thing's for sure - political DDoS attacks (Georgia President's web site under DDoS attack from Russian hackers; Coordinated Russia vs Georgia cyber attack in progress) are going to get even more mainstream in 2009.

What are some of the driving factors contributing to this trend? The overall availability of malware infected hosts, which when once monetized ends up in DDoS for hire services whose prices for a large scale hourly attack are getting disturbingly affordable to anyone. The recently released "Worldwide Infrastructure Security Report" report by Arbor Networks also indicates that the DDoS attack rates exceed the ISP network's growth, and have already reached the 40GB barrier. Ironically, the report also states that managed DDoS mitigation services are increasing, which is exactly what is happening on the DDoS for hire services front - they're becoming ubiquitous as outsourcing DDoS attacks to experienced attackers directly messes up the entry barriers into a space that used to require experience, and an operational botnet a couple of years ago.

Topic: Security

Dancho Danchev

About Dancho Danchev

Dancho Danchev is an independent security consultant and cyber threats analyst, with extensive experience in open source intelligence gathering, malware and cybercrime incident response.

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  • Wow !

    ZDnet is really up to speed on this one, did you folks receive this latest bit of news by carrier pidgeon as this story broke last friday ?
    Alan Smithie
    • Re: Wow !


      Given the lack of media coverage due to the fact that the BBC isn't providing any details, you'd better double check than start blowing the whistle on the basis of speculation.

      So now that a second source has confirmed this today, you're supposed to be fully informed that an attack indeed took place.
    • Alan, this is nothing and probably valid...but check out....

      Dana Blankenhorns blog "end the open source obsession with Microsoft". It is based on something that happened over a year ago. <br><br>
      I'm not trying to be mean, text can be misleading, but it's obvious there are ABM bloggers at zdnet willing to post the blogs that get hits similar to shooting fish in a barrel. I just don't understand it.
    • RE: BBC hit by a DDoS attack

      @Alan Smithie
  • I suspect that this happens to them every day

    This could even be a warning that their TV broadcast is being attacked.It's time to talk to law enforcement and Cambridge.
  • Were all 600 linux users affected by this?

    Have to laugh really, but only because the BBC were overly infiltrated by the scumlords a while back and tried to make themselves a Windows only service ...
  • When did this happen?

    Did I miss it in the article? When did the attack occur?
    Arun (sreearun)
  • RE: BBC hit by a DDoS attack

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