Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Al-Qaida's Shamukh Chat Forum Under Attack

Al-Qaida's top-tier Al-Shamukh chat forum is facing an ongoing electronic attack, that has rendered the forum totally unreachable, according to a terrorism expert.The attack on Shamukh is similar to one reported in June this year, and first the domain and then subsequently the underlying data server were both taken down separately, Evan Kohlmann of Flashpoint Partners said in an email late Monday.
The difference this time however is that al-Qaida now has an alternate secondary forum to distribute its propaganda and media, known as "Al-Fidaa". "In other words, shutting down Shamukh is still quite an annoyance, and it certainly causes jihadi webmasters headaches, but it hasn't had the same effect of gagging al-Qaida's media machine," said Kohlmann who has spent over a decade tracking al-Qaida and other terrorist organizations.
Al-Fidaa is not yet under attack, but it would be interesting to see if a similar electronic attack is launched against this forum as well.
The identity of the attackers is still not known, but it looks like someone launched a coordinated assault on the forum that was designed to cripple the whole system, Kohlmann said.
Typically, that's not the kind of thing that happens because of a lightning strike or a handful of people relying on a tool like LOIC (Low Orbit Ion Cannon), he added.
LOIC is a network stress-testing tool that floods sites with data, making them unable to serve legitimate visitors. This type of attack is called a distributed denial of service (DDoS) attack.
Kohlmann said in a Twitter message earlier on Monday that web domain names servicing Shamukh chat forum have come under apparent attack by unknown hostile parties. He later reported that the forum was "totally unreachable".
A threat to "cut the tongue" of U.S. TV host and comedian David Letterman was posted on the forum in August.

Web Host Netregistry Hit by DDoS Attack

WEB HOST INDUSTRY REVIEW) --Australian web host NetRegistry (www.netregistry.au) was hit by a DDoS attack on Monday, according to a report by ZDNet Australia.
This attack comes a few months after it acquired the customers and assets of Australian web host Distribute.IT, the web host attacked by hacker group Evil in June.
According to the report, the attack started at 10:30 am and affected its customers using shared and virtual private server hosting. Approximately 100,000 customers were likely to have been affected by the disruption, according to Netregistry CEO Brett Fenton.
Fenton says Netregistry itself was not the intended target, but it isn't sure which hosting customer the attack was directed at. According to the report, Netregistry had to fend off a similar DDoS attack last year when its customer the Australian Federation Against Copyright Theft was targeted by Anonymous.
Around 10:45 am, Netregistry announced its phone system was overloaded and had to place a limit on the number of calls it could accept. Around this time, the company confirmed it was experiencing a DDoS attack, and began to re-divert its network bandwidth and work with its upstream provider Telstra to stem the flow of traffic.
A report by iTechReport says that by lunchtime, the company believed it had resolved the issue, but the attack restarted around 2pm bringing the hosted sites offline again.
Netregistry says by 5pm access had been restored for most customers except for those using a Telstra-provided internet connection. Access to sites on the Zeus Dynamic shared hosting infrastructure remains offline, according to the report.
The report says the outage impacted its resellers and subsidiaries like ZipHosting as well.


Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Tesco says sorry after website crash leaves thousands unable to order groceries

Thousands of Tesco customers were unable to order food yesterday after the chain’s website crashed.
Britain’s biggest grocer was forced to say sorry when a glitch locked families out of their shopping lists.
One fed-up customer told the Mirror: “I tried for more than two hours and then gave up and switched to another supermarket because I needed a certain time slot for my shopping.”

With customers unable to order groceries and others booted off its Tesco Direct ­catalogue, experts said lost sales could add up to £1million over 24 hours.
Tesco is estimated to make £255million a year from online sales alone.
The Tesco.com site went down at around 1pm and while Tesco Direct was back up again two hours later, IT engineers were still working flat out to fix the grocery shopping site.
Shoppers trying to log on were told: “We’re very sorry. The Tesco.com grocery website is currently undergoing improvement works.
“It will be up and running shortly so please try again.”
A statement from the ­supermarket giant blamed a technical fault.
It said: “This is a rare glitch which has affected some of our online operations. We are working hard to fix it.”
Tesco websites have been plagued by computer ­problems in recent months.
In June, angry savers threatened to dump Tesco Bank after a similar crash left them without access to their cash for three days.
And before Christmas, customers trying to cash in Clubcard vouchers ahead of a deadline were shut out after the site went down.


Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Talking Points Memo Site Brought Down After Hacker Story

The popular politics and news website Talking Points Memo crashed on Friday after experiencing an apparent distributed denial-of-service (DDOS) attack. The shutdown came after the site published the mugshots of 14 alleged members of Anonymous, a loose-knit group of online hacker activists, who became well-known after launching online attacks on parties who opposed WikiLeaks, including MasterCard and PayPal. While there was no direct evidence that tied Anonymous to the attack, the group has launched similar attacks against media websites and law enforcement agencies in the past.


DDoS takes down UK's Russian embassy website before PM visit to Moscow

It has been 5 years since a British leader has visited Moscow. On the eve of the first visit since a Kremlin critic was killed in London, the website for the Russian Embassy in London was attacked by a distributed denial of service attack.
British Prime Minister David Cameron has been very vocal in the past about the killing of Alexander Litvinenko who was poisoned in 2006 by radioactive polonium-210, but has worked in the last year since taking over as Prime Minister to mend the relationship with Russia and President Dmitry Medvedev.
“Prior to the visit of Prime Minister David Cameron to Russia, the website of the Russian Embassy in London was brought down by a suspected DDoS attack,” the embassy said in a statement.
The site went down on Friday, came back up on Saturday, then fell again on Sunday. It is currently live.