In the past, most concepts of censorship — like those in the works of George Orwell or Aldous Huxley — imagined that those in power would use their influence to decide what can and cannot be said or printed. However, just as the internet has created a space for more voices to be heard (e.g., on social media platforms), it also has allowed practically anyone to censor the voices they don’t like.
The distributed denial of service (DDoS) attack is a method that hacktivist groups have long employed to act against companies or agencies with which they disagree. Like a virtual sit-in of sorts, the method essentially floods web servers with enormous volumes of requests, rendering affected sites unable to load content for legitimate visitors.
Although defining the actions of these groups as “censorship” versus protest is debatable, there have been several incidents where the DDoS more clearly served as a means to censor content. The Chinese government, for instance, has used a DDoS tool referred to as the “Great Cannon” to block out web content it deems inappropriate or undesirable.
However, it doesn’t take a government or even a large group to employ DDoS attacks to censor web sources. In a recent incident, Brian Krebs, a cybersecurity expert who publishes a regular blog on krebsonsecurity.com, experienced a DDoS attack of a record scale. This event is suspected to be retaliation for a post in which Krebs reported on the pair of Israeli hackers responsible for operating DDoS-on-demand service vDOS. Shortly after that post went live, the hackers were arrested.
DDoS tools are now available to anyone with an internet connection and an ability to access the deep web. As such, media outlets, government agencies and businesses of all sizes find themselves wondering if someone will take it upon themselves to censor their web content.
Censorship can come from any direction, and no organization is too small to be affected.
However, any organization can take a few actions to protect against DDoS onslaughts. Web server networks can be designed to account for such attacks and circumvent their effects. With the proper configurations in place, resources can filter and block out offending traffic. And attack attempts can be sniffed out and prevented using techniques such as deep web surveillance.
For any company concerned about their freedom to publish content and operate their business without fear of retaliation or censorship, Lunarline can bring the experience, skills and innovative tools you need to keep your web site up and running. For more information, contact us online today.