Al-Jazeera sites still down after DDOS attack

Websites for the Arab satellite television network Al-Jazeera are still unavailable after sustained distributed denial of service...

Websites for the Arab satellite television network Al-Jazeera are still unavailable after sustained distributed denial of service (DDOS) attacks.

The attacks have forced Al-Jazeera to increase bandwidth for the sites and step up security in a desperate effort to get back online, but the attackers scaled their efforts to meet the increase.

"All of our websites are down. The US website is out of order and the Europe site is under attack. We come up for five or 10 minutes and then the attacks bring us down again," said Salah AlSeddiqi, IT manager at Al-Jazeera.

AlSeddiqi and others describe a powerful and co-ordinated attack on Al-Jazeera's websites that began on 25 March, shortly after the network published photos of US soldiers who had been taken prisoner by Iraqi forces inside Iraq.

Beginning on Tuesday, Al-Jazeera was hit with traffic in excess of 200Mbits per second and up to 300Mbits per second.

The network's websites typically receive traffic in the range of 50 or 60 Mbits per second. With the commencement of hostilities, however, traffic to Al-Jazeera's sites had spiked to more than 150Mbits per second, AlSeddiqi said.

The attacks were described as a DNS (Domain Name System) flood attack by Joanne Tucker, managing editor of Al-Jazeera's English language website.

DNS flood attacks send a high volume of Internet traffic to the name servers that are responsible for a particular Web domain, rendering those servers unresponsive.

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