Hackers Take Down the BBC Web Page
Article by George Norman
On 12 Nov 2008
It seems that the site of the British Broadcasting Corporation was the target of a DDoS (denial of service) attack last weak which lead to the web page responding very slowly at first and then stop responding altogether. According to the BBC, the whole thing took its toll on all the online services the corporation provides (iPlayer included).

In order to fend off the attack (which originated from outside the UK, but the BBC is not yet ready to let us in on any specifics) the technicians that the BBC employs had to take a number of subset servers and limit international access to them. Once this task was completed, a considerable improvement was noticed in the manner in which the web page responded. Still, the attackers were successful enough to take the site offline for a period of 75 minutes – which is not much if you think about it, but it is more than the BBC has been offline this entire year.

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In light of the attack Siemens, service provider for the BBC, had to change certain DNS settings and block some addresses. Future attacks are expected to occur, but the BBC says it is prepared to handle all of them accordingly.

Just to put things in perspective, the BBC web page’s response time dropped considerably at about 5 o’clock in the afternoon; by 8 the response time reached a peak of 9,277ms; the problem was resolved just half an hour before midnight. As a precautionary measure a lightweight version of the BBC’s homepage was kept up by the next morning.

There are a few things that one finds troublesome about the whole situation. Why is the BBC keeping quiet about the origins of the attack? Could we assume that an article published by the British corporation offended some hacker and consequently an attack ensued? It would not be the first time such a thing happens, and the Russian hack attack on the President of Georgia's site back in July is proof of that.



Tags: BBC, Hacking
About the author: George Norman
George is a news editor.
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