The Distributed Denial of Service attack — DDoS for short — began last week and was initially directed at Spamhaus, a European-based spam-blocking organization. DDoS attacks work by directing so much junk traffic toward a site that legitimate users can’t get through.
But by early this week, that traffic had peaked at 300 Gigabits per second, enough to gum up the basic plumbing of the net and hamper unrelated web users worldwide.
The DDoS attack, which has abated in the past 24 hours, was perhaps the largest ever, and “certainly the largest that has ever been publicly announced,” said Matthew Prince, CEO and co-founder of CloudFlare, the company that was hired by Spamhaus to help absorb the attack.
“At that point, it starts to affect the core routing of the Internet in certain places,” Prince said.