‘The largest assault clocked in at 300 billion bits per second

A DUTCH citizen arrested in northeast Spain on suspicion of lunching what is described as the biggest cyber-attack in internet history operated from a bunker and had a van capable of hacking into networks anywhere in the country, officials have said.


The suspect traveled in Spain using his van “as a mobile computing office, equipped with  various antennas to scan frequencies,” an interior ministry statement said. Agents arrested him on Thursday 25th April in the city of Granollers, 22 miles north of Barcelona, complying with a European arrest warrant issued by Dutch authorities. He is accused of attacking the Swiss-British anti-spam watchdog group Spamhaus, whose main task is to halt ads for counterfeit Viagra and bogus weight-loss pills reaching the world’s inboxes. The statement said officers uncovered the computer hacker’s bunker “from where he even did interveiws with different international media”. The 35-year-old, whose birthplace was given as the western Dutch city of Alkmaar, was identifed only by his initials : SK. The statement said the suspect called himself a diplomat belonging to the “Telecommunications and Foreign Affairs Ministry of the Republic of Cyberbunker”.

Spanish police were alerted in March by Dutch authorities of large denial-of-service attacks being launched from Spain that were affecting internet servers in the Netherlands, Britain and the US. These attacks culminated with a major onslaught on Spamhaus. The Netherlands National Prosecution Office described them as “unprecedentedly serious attacks on the non-profit organisation Spamhaus”. The largest assault clocked in at 300 billion bits per second, according to San Francisco-based CloudFlare, which Spamhaus enlisted to help it weather the onslaught. Denial-of-service attacks overwhelm a server with traffic, jamming it with incoming messages. Security experts measure the attacks in bits of data per second. Recent cyberattacks – such as the ones that caused persistent outages at US banking sites late last year – have tended to peak at 100 billion bits per second, one third the size of that experienced by Spamhaus. Dutch, German, British and US police forces took part in the investigation leading to the arrest, Spainish officials said. The suspect is expected to be extradited from Spain to face justice in the Netherlands.

With many thanks to : Irish News.

Blackout Strike: Anonymous Calls for Street Protests; Lawmakers Drop Support of SOPA and PIPA


Nadine Wolf protests outside the offices of Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.), who co-sponsored anti-piracy legislation, in New York, on January 18, 2012. The physical protest joined sites around the Web in a protest against two Congressional anti-piracy bills. (Photo: Michael Appleton / The New York Times)

Wikipedia. Reddit. WordPress. Wired magazine. All of these sites and thousands of others are participating in a one-day blackout to protest the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) and Protect IP Act (PIPA) bills proposed in Congress.

Browser super power Google is operating, but its logo is blacked out. If you visit the nonpartisan legislation tracker OpenCongres.org today, the only bills you can read about are SOPA and PIPA.

SOPA Resistance Day!

Truthout considered joining the protest and blacking out today, but we decided to bring breaking news and information on the blackout instead.

The decentralized hacktivist network Anonymous has issued a press release calling for physical street protest against the bills, recommending that protesters converge at freeways, malls, libraries and schools. “IF YOUR GOVERNMENT SHUTS DOWN THE INTERNET … SHUT DOWN THE GOVERNMENT,” the release declares.

Anonymous normally uses hacking and DDoS (distributed denial of service) attacks to shut down sites as a form of protest, but now the collective wants people in the streets:

“What will a Distributed Denial of Service attack do? What’s website defacement against the corrupted powers of the government? No. This is a call for a worldwide Internet and physical protest against the powers that be.”

The Internet has not crumbled as a result of the blackout strike, but support for both bills in Congress has.

Some members of Congresswant to take more time to consider the bills and add amendments, while others are flat out withdrawing their support.

Seal of the United States Department of Justice

Freshman Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Florida), an original co-sponsor of the PIPA, announced on Facebook today that he is withdrawing his support because of “legitimate concerns” about potential impacts on access to the Internet and the broadening of government power.

Reps. Lee Terry (R-Nebraska) and Ben Quayle (R-Arizona) dropped their sponsorship of SOPA today and Sen. Roy Blunt (R-Missouri) withdrew his support of PIPA.

These withdrawals of support still leave 76 supporters of the bills on the House and Senate and only 31 dedicated opponents, according to a list compiled by ProPublica.

Erik Martin, general manager of Reddit.com, one of the first major web sites to announce it would blackout, said there is still a “very long fight” ahead.

“We are encouraged, but we’re not letting our guard down,” Martin said.

SOPA was tabled in the House after President Obama said he would not support the bill, but the Senate is expected to consider PIPA next week.

Martin said the bills supporters have accused opponents of failing to read the actual legislation and spreading misinformation, but one of Reddit’s top engineers picked through the bills and the Reddit community determined they were a threat worth protesting against.

Both bills would allow the Justice Department to take down sites deemed to be “dedicated to infringing activities” and both the Justice Department and copyright owners would be allowed to sue alleged infringers. The bills also allow the Justice Department to demand that search engines and service providers remove links and block access to targeted sites.

Proponents say the bills would curb online pirating of copyrighted material. Opponents say the bills would give the government dangerous censorship power and allow big media firms to target smaller competitors with government lawsuits, and it turns out the entertainment industry is a big supporter of the legislation.

Comcast, Viacom, NBC Universal and industry groups like the Recording Industry Association of America have all joined the US Chamber of Commerce in supporting SOPA. Together, these groups have contributed more than $3.9 million to top members of Congress.

With Many Thanks To : by: Mike Ludwig, Truthout | Report

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