Harvard's Berkman Center for Internet Law and Society has released a new report on the use of Distributed
Denial of Service attacks by censors and oppressive governments against human rights organizations. It's
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