Semalt Expert: Google's Project Shield Helps To Escape An Attack From Hackers

People should start recognizing the value that large enterprises present. A great example is what Google did for a journalist who was a victim of a massive DDoS attack. The company swept in and lent its formidable computing power to put the hack to an end.

Brian Krebs is a veteran security blogger. The attack began when he exposed the sleazy business practices of one group, who then retaliated by issuing a DDoS (distributed denial-of-service) attack on his system. The DDoS are not new as hackers use them from time to time. However, this particular case was different, and the hack was stronger than ever. Krebs admitted to having dealt with DDoS attacks before, but nothing of this magnitude.

Artem Abgarian, the Semalt Senior Customer Success Manager, believes that the reason for this is that hackers have more weapons than ever before at their disposal to carry out their attacks. Initially, the most popular targets were old Windows PCs. They would typically order them to direct spam traffic to the victim's site with the objective of knocking it offline. With the diversity of online devices online, hackers now have multiple possibilities to co-opt them.

In Krebs' case, the hackers used botnets to initialize the attack. They then enslaved some IoT (Internet of Things) devices belonging to the blogger. They were mainly IP cameras, routers, and digital video recorders, all of which have access to the internet. Most of the named devices have either weak or hard-coded passwords to protect them from intrusion.

Krebs' website is a vital source of information for his online audience from the security community. Using various options available to them, as indicated above, they managed to knock down the site, and ensure that it remained down indefinitely. The DDoS attack from hackers is a new form of censorship. The attack kept information from the audience.

At this point, one may wonder where Google fits into all of this. One of the recent updates from Google was that they launched "Project Shield". The project's initiative is to come to the rescue of journalists such as Krebs. It prevents them from receiving DDoS attacks on their websites.

Project Shield lends the journalist its servers so that they can use them to absorb any malicious traffic directed to the website with the intention of overwhelming it. The system is not only beneficial to journalists who fall victim to hackers. Its use also spans out to those countries who repeatedly have their content censored using DDoS attacks from their governments.

Initially, Krebs contracted a company known as Akamai to take care of its content. However, the content management company could no longer afford to protect the website from large-scale attacks like this one. Another company told Krebs that the type of service Akamai provided would cost him close to $200,000 annually.

To cut a long story short, the attack on Krebs' website is an indication of the importance people should place on website security. If one is not using Google for this purpose, other companies offer the same services. By Taking advantage of this, website owners reduce the risk of DDoS attacks significantly, as hackers now use them as powerful censorship weapons.