The Mis-Adventures in Technology of an Old Dog Learning New Tricks…

Posts tagged ‘Technology’

The Biggest Cyber War in History! Cyber-attack on Spamhaus slows down the internet

(RT) The biggest cyber-attack in history has caused a worldwide web slowdown as the battle between an anti-spam group and a Dutch web host continues to heat up.

The largest known distributed-denial-of-service (DDoS) attack in history was sparked when the non-profit group Spamhaus placed CyberBunker on a real-time blacklist of sites to be blocked for spreading spam earlier this month.

The (DDoS) attacks – which flood targeted web servers with fake traffic to make them inaccessible – have reportedly caused millions to experience delays with services such as the Netflix video-streaming service and made other sites temporarily unavailable. Experts fear the web congestion could lead to banking and email system slowdowns around the world.

Spamhaus servers were at one point being inundated with 300 billion bits per second (300Gbps) of data, three times larger than the previous record attack of 100 Gbps, Darren Anstee from Arbor Networks Solutions told IBTimes UK.

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Spamhaus, which helps email providers filter out spam and other questionable content, first reported the attacks on March 20.

Steve Linford, chief executive for Spamhaus, told the BBC that this scale of attack could knock down government Internet infrastructure.

“If you aimed this at Downing Street they would be down instantly,” he said. “They would be completely off the Internet.”

Linford noted that “when there are attacks against major banks, we’re talking about 50 gbs.”

Five separate cyber-police-forces are investigating the incident, he added, though he could not disclose any further details.

Spamhaus further accused Cyberbunker of collaborating with criminal gangs from Eastern Europe and Russia to carry out the attacks.

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‘Cyberbunker not behind current attacks’

Cyberbunker, which operates out of a “secretive nuclear bunker,” prides itself on rebuking “authorities regarding the rights of individuals. ” The firm, boasts they will provide bandwidth to anything but child pornography or terrorism related content.

Sven Olaf Kamphuis, an internet activist and self-described spokesman for Cyberbunker, reportedly told the New York Times the ongoing attack was retaliation for Spamhaus “abusing their influence.”However, later on Wednesday Kamphuis told RT’s news video agency RUPTLY via Skype that quotes attributed to him by the NYT were part of a campaign of “misinformation” against Cyberbunker, which he says is not currently carrying out DDos attacks against Spamhaus.

“There has been some misinformation from the New York Times that it’s me carrying out the attacks. Spamhaus have pissed off a lot of people over the past few years by blackmailing ISPs and carriers into disconnecting clients without court orders or legal process whatsoever,” he said.

“At this moment we are not even conducting any attacks because people from our group stopped any attack yesterday morning,” he said. “So if they are still under attack which I think they are because I get news feeds that they are still under attack then it’s now other people attacking them.” He argues that such publicized cyber-attacks do serve a function, as they put the “mafia tactics” of Spamhaus in the public spotlight, which he claims are currently “the largest threat” to Internet freedom.

“Well, I think the cyber-attacks do put things under public discussion and that in the case of Spamhaus was urgently needed, because they have been operating in the background, claiming to be spam fighters and a little non-profit and at the moment it is becoming all the more clear what they really are. People that work at internet providers have always known this,” Kamphuis said.

“People who work at abuse desks or as providers, know that if you don’t give Spamhaus their way, they will list your entire provider and at that point all of your customers will start to complain that 1/3 of the internet no longer accepts email to start with. If they put you on drop a whole bunch of American providers no longer accept your backups, so you can no longer communicate with half of the sites hosted in the United States. It is a massive problem when one little offshore from the Bahamas gains such an influence on the internet that they can have such an impact.”

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SpaceX’s capsule arrives at ISS

A privately-owned unmanned US space capsule docked at the International Space Station bringing food, scientific materials and crucial equipment to the space outpost.

Torrent Lovers REJOICE! Maxxo lets you download anonymously and FREE!

If You are like me, you love to download torrent files, but there was always that looming risk involved. Who’s watching what I download? Will I get a Copyright infringement letter from my ISP? Etc. Etc.  Well fear not!  A new service called Maxxo has come to the rescue.

(TorrentFreak) Maxxo is a relatively young cloud hosting and synchronization service and one that’s not afraid to launch a disruptive feature. Starting this week the company officially adds support for BitTorrent downloads, allowing users to download torrent files quickly and anonymously. When BitTorrent downloads are completed the files automatically sync to all connected devices.

With dozens of million of users Dropbox is the leading cloud hosting and synchronization service.

The convenience of dropping files into a folder to automatically sync them online and with other devices appeals to a large audience, but some want even more features.

Earlier this year many BitTorrent users got excited by the launch of a new Dropbox app that enabled the downloading of torrents directly to Dropbox folders. Unfortunately, this enthusiasm quickly faded when Dropbox banned the app over piracy concerns.

According to Dropbox the app’s features “could be perceived as encouraging users to violate copyright using Dropbox.”

Luckily, there are also companies who see BitTorrent for the neutral technology that it is. The relatively new Dropbox competitor Maxxo is a good example, underlined by their launch this week of BitTorrent support as a native feature.

This means that besides backing up and syncing files across devices, Maxxo also enables users to download torrents. Users can simply drop a .torrent file into the Maxxo interface and right-click to start the download.

“By using BitTorrent through Maxxo our users can download files fast and completely anonymously,” Maxxo CEO Luka Hovat told TorrentFreak. “It’s a feature that none of our competitors have.”

Because all torrent downloads go directly though Maxxo’s servers, users don’t have to worry about being watched by third parties.

Maxxo downloads torrents


Maxxo offers free accounts which are limited to five gigabytes of storage and a maximum of two simultaneous BitTorrent transfers. Paid users can download 10 torrent files at a time and have higher storage and transfer limits.

For the occasional BitTorrent user Maxxo is a pretty suitable remote download service, or a “seedbox” with automatic sync across multiple computers. TorrentFreak briefly tested the service and aside from the occasional hiccup, most of the torrent files we tried downloaded just fine.

Maxxo is currently Windows only but they are working on a Mac application, as well as support for mobile devices. BitTorrent support aside, it also allows users to create lists of friends to easily share files with.

How Facebook Design Is Tricking You Into Sharing Info

A Great Must Read Article for Boing Boing and Gizmodo about Facebook Privacy.

You already know that Facebook and privacy don’t really get along, but many “improvements” to the service are making it easier and easier to share everything without even knowing. Avi Charkham rounded a bunch of these tricks up over at TechCrunch, and they’re as subtle as they are sketchy.

Some of the changes seem to play on psychology, like swapping out the old pair of “Allow, Don’t Allow” buttons for just one that says “Play game” that you either click, or don’t. Others, are sort of flagrant once you’ve noticed them. One Charkham describes as the “The Tiny Hidden Info Symbol Trick” is of those ones. From TechCrunch:

In the old Design Facebook presented a detailed explanation about the “basic” information you’re about to expose to the apps you’re adding. In the new design they decided to hide that info. If you pay careful attention you’ll see a tiny little “?” symbol and if you hover over it you’ll discover that this app is about to gain access to your name, profile pic, Facebook user ID, gender, networks, list of friends and any piece of info you’ve made public on Facebook. Quite a lot of info for a 20×10 pixel tiny hidden info symbol don’t you think?!

Facebook is a free service so you are the product; none of this should really come as a surprise. Still, its interesting—if also a bit scary—to see the design choices intended to make you part with your personal information. [TechCrunch via Boing Boing]

Demonoid suffers DDoS attack

Demonoid hit by DDoS attack

My favorite website, Demonoid, had been under attack for the past few days.

(via ZDNet) Demonoid has been hit by a massive Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attack, bringing down the famous BitTorrent tracker to its knees. The torrent website has been inaccessible to its millions of users for more than a day and is expected to remain offline for quite some time.

As you can see in the screenshot above, Demonoid is currently serving up the following error message:

Server too busy

The action you requested could not be completed because the server is too busy.

Please try again in a few minutes

Do not click reload – Use the following links
Clicking reload will get you this page again

Click here to return to the homepage or Click here to go back

I said this attack was “massive” because it has resulted in a series of problems that may take a while to address. Over the years, Demonoid has been down many times, sometimes disappearing for months.

“It started as a DDoS but then it caused a series of problems,” Demonoid’s admin told TorrentFreak. “These problems need to be fixed before the site can go back up, and it’s a complicated fix this time. There might have been an attack from another angle, an exploit of sorts, but it’s hard to tell right now without a full check of everything. Our human resources became limited in the last few months. All tech issues are handled just by me now and there is no one else to take the job. I’ll fix the site as soon as possible, but it might be a while this time.”

It’s currently unclear whether or not the attack against Demonoid was anti-piracy related. Either way, Demonoid’s users have to find an alternative for their downloading needs while they wait for its return. (By Emil Protalinski )

See also:

NASA peaks our “Curiosity” with latest Mars mission


NASA’s newest mission could be right out of Hollywood.  “Curiosity” is NASA’s most ambitious Mars rover mission yet.


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