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Hat tip to Cory Doctorow at Boing Boing for this,  a Harvard report on DDOS attacks designed to silence dissent :

Our research suggests that:

  • DDoS attacks against independent media and human rights sites have been common in the past year, even outside of elections, protests, and military operations. With recent highly publicized DDoS attacks on Wikileaks, and "Operation Payback" attacks by "Anonymous" on sites perceived to oppose Wikileaks, we expect these attacks to become more common.

  • Independent media and human rights sites suffer from a variety of different types of cyber attacks, including filtering, intrusions, and defacements in addition to DDoS attacks, and those attacks interact with each other in complex ways.

  • Independent media and human rights sites suffer from both application DDoS attacks, which exhaust local server resources and can usually be mitigated by a skilled system administrator; and network DDoS attacks, which exhaust network bandwidth and can usually only be mitigated with the help of a hosting provider at considerable expense.

  • Mitigating DDoS attacks against independent media and human rights sites will likely require moving those sites closer to the core of the Internet: inside the small number of major ISPs, websites, and content distribution networks* (CDNs) that have the experience and resources to defend against these attacks, particularly network DDoS attack

Unfortunately, being close to the core makes one very directly exposed to the sort of pressure that the US government has been blatantly and shamelessly exerting in recent weeks; i.e. it's a non-starter for whistleblowing or other genuine dissident organisations...

It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II

by eurogreen on Tue Dec 21st, 2010 at 06:46:59 PM EST

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