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Anti-spam sites come under attack

June 12, 2007

By Justin Mann,

Denial of Service attacks in the news have become all too common the past few years, with some of the biggest companies on the web being knocked offline at times by unscrupulous types. This last week, some of the bastions of light in a never-ending black sea of spam came under attack. Several anti-spam list maintainers and anti-spam sites, such as Spamhaus, SURBL and URIBL, all came under attack at various times last week. The former two were able to weather the attacks, but URIBL was not so lucky:

The URIBL (which, like SURBL - filters junk mail based on spam sites mentioned in their message bodies) website was rendered temporarily available by the assault between Wednesday and Friday. It used DDoS mitigation technology from Prolexic to restore services.

While the true intention of the attacks is not clear, it is obvious that each companies campaign against spam mail was a factor. The attackers may have used Storm worm variants, which have been discussed heavily for a while now, for the attack. The fact that the attacks were relatively ineffective is a testament to the evolving protection against said attacks and quicker responses, but also shows that they are still a thorn that must be dealt with. Nobody loves spam, and the communities fighting against it, whether for profit or volunteer, are welcomed.

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