Burning websites

September 4, 2007 at 2:33 am | Posted in Assignments, Thoughts | Leave a comment

Aside from such scenes as Book Burning 2007, there are more effective ways of burning books and ideas online. Amongst ways of debilitating a website, delivering a Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) ranks closest to burning a book.

DDoS Attacks Target Prominent Blogs describes an attack during the Muhammad cartoon scandal of 2006.

An earlier series of attacks targeted the blog of Michelle Malkin, who led a movement among bloggers to mirror the controversial cartoons of the Prophet Mohammad that initially appeared in a Danish magazine. The attacks began Feb. 15, and escalated on Feb. 23, when an attack from a botnet in Turkey forced Malkin to post on the Pajamas Media weblog until her main site was available again.

Like burning a book, the DDoS sends a message. However, unlike an old fashioned book burning, the message is more than symbolic. The DDoS prevents visitors from reading the victim, from hearing the offendable ideas.

The attack overwhelms the victim’s servers with a deluge of innocent seeming requests. Lesser servers grind to a halt, unable to respond. The victim can no longer tell the real visitors from those interested in squelching the message and is silenced. The network traffic connecting to the victim’s computer network makes LED indicator lights blaze with fire.

Those who would burn books, have found ways to burn and persecute victims on the Internet.

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