Cyber attacks against independent media: DDoS

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Armswatch.com under a massive DDoS attack, with 52.81 million requests overwhelming the website with a flood of Internet traffic from different locations around the world, 17.66 million of which originating from the USA (25 November-8 December).

DDoS attacks have recently become the most powerful cyber weapon of governments to censor investigative journalists and take their websites offline.

A distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attack is a malicious attempt to disrupt the normal traffic of a targeted server or network by overwhelming the target with a flood of Internet traffic.

Arms Watch, my investigative journalism platform, which documents war crimes, has constantly been the target of such cyber attacks. I have been using DDoS protection ever since my website was created. However, the last malicious attack has been so massive that it has taken my website down, with more than 53 million requests flooding my Internet traffic from different locations around the world, 17.7 million of which originating from the US.

Censorship

On 31 October, I published the article: US deploys private military contractors from Libya to Europe”.

I continued working on this investigation and was about to publish a follow-up story when on 25 November my website was DDoS-ed and taken down.

Armswatch.com was targeted with 26.68 million web traffic requests from different countries around the world (25 November-1 December).

On 7 December when the first DDoS attack finished I restored the international traffic to armswatch.com. My website was accessible for just few hours as a second massive DDoS attack started and my site was taken down again.

Armswatch.com under a DDoS attack with 26.06 million web traffic requests registered on 8 December alone, 14.9 million of which coming from the USA.

Arms Watch has been investigating the origin of the attack. We have requested information from the owner of one of the servers that have attacked us – the US company Wowrack.

Interestingly, the same IP has been reported 1,278 times for cyber attacks in France, Spain, Canada and Portugal since December 2018.

IP abuse reports for 216.244.66.240, source: AbuseIPDB

This IP has been reported for DDoS attacks by the Spanish company SoloLinux and for Web App Attacks by the French company RDMC. SoloLinux is a web-development company based in Spain. RDMC is a technology design company based in France. According to Wowrack, the server has been used by one of their clients – MOZ, USA. Their client’s explanation: “The IP does belong to us, and it is one of the Mozscape crawlers”, denying any wrongdoing.

DDoS-for-hire services

How much does a DDoS attack cost? According to Dark Web Price Index 2020, the price of a DDoS attack against a Premium protected website, with 20-50k requests per second and multiple elite proxies is $200 per 24 hours. The price per month can reach $6,000.

A Web stresser and DDoS IP Booter offering DDoS-for-hire services. The price varies according to the number of seconds the attack lasts.

Arms Watch has been under attack for a month now.

Attack on Free Speech: comments

Thank you to all Arms Watch followers for your retweets and support. Stories like this one can be censored by official government cyber centers but we cannot be silenced. Follow us on our Telegram channel using the link: https://t.me/armswatch

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