Internet Users Affected By Massive Cyberattacks

Internet Users Affected By Massive CyberattacksInternet users around the globe are facing slowed-down service, thanks to what’s being called the biggest cyberattack in history.

‘Sites performing slowly’

The prolonged denial-of-service assault is targeting The Spamhaus Project, a European spam-fighting group that has gone after CyberBunker, a data-storage company that offers to host any content “except child porn and anything related to terrorism.” The organization has been in a long-running feud with CyberBunker and claims spammers use it as a host from which to spray junk mail across the Web.

Internet security firm CloudFlare said Spamhaus contacted it last week, saying it had been hit with an attack big enough to knock its site offline. Security experts say the attack uses more sophisticated techniques than most DDoS (distributed denial of service) attacks and targets the Web’s infrastructure, which has led to other sites performing slowly.

The FBI is involved in the investigation into the cyberattack on Spamhaus, though a bureau spokesman didn’t provide any details on the FBI’s role or the scope of the probe.

‘Oversteps its bounds’

The Spamhaus Project is a nonprofit organization that patrols the Internet for spammers and publishes a list of Web servers those spammers use. According to Prince, the group may be responsible for up to 80% of all spam that gets blocked. This month, the group added CyberBunker to its blacklist.

In a DDoS attack, computers flood a website with requests, overwhelming its servers and causing it to crash or become inaccessible for many users. One way to defend against those attacks is to deflect some of the traffic targeted at a single server onto a bunch of other servers at different locations. That’s what happened in this case, and why Web users experienced some slowdowns on other sites.

CyberBunker founder Sven Olaf Kamphuis and other critics say that Spamhaus oversteps its bounds and has essentially destroyed innocent websites in its spam-fighting efforts.

Do you think Spamhaus is a good organization or a bad one? Feel free to share your speculations with us!

Source: Doug Ross, CNN

Image: Mashable

Waterfall Swing Makes Waves On The Internet

Waterfall Swing Makes Waves On The InternetThis is not your swing set from childhood. The Waterfall Swingcreated by Mike O’Toole, Andrew Ratcliff, Ian Charnas, and Andrew Witte of the Brooklyn-based art and architecture firm Dash 7 Designhas a computer in it. And, of course, a lot of water. Video of the swing has captured the attention of the Web.

The clip shows riders on the swings getting a big push toward a wall of water. As they swing forward, a hole opens up for them to swing through without getting wet. It’s part art installation, part engineering marvel and part play structure.

‘Beyond their wildest dreams’

The friends and designers put their heads together to come up with the cool contraption for the 2011 World Maker Faire. By all accounts, they succeeded beyond their wildest dreamsor perhaps ours. Here’s how the Waterfall Swing works, as described on the firm’s website:

Water recirculates through 273 independently controlled solenoid valves at the top of the structure to create a wall of water. … Sensors mounted on the swing set gather information about the angle and speed of each swing. That information is sent to a computer that predicts the action of the rider. The computer then creates a hole in the wall of water, allowing the rider to swing through without getting wet.

‘That childlike feeling’

The video has certainly made a splash: Since it went up, it’s received more than one million views. O’Toole said that people get an old-fashioned thrill from narrowly missing being soaked as they swing on the high-tech play structure. He said, “It isn’t terrifying. It isn’t any more than a really big swing. It disarms people. It really gets people back to that childlike feeling.”

Did you like old-fashioned swings when  you were a kid? Would you want to give this Waterfall Swing a try? Tell us what you think about this swing innovation!

Source: Yahoo News

Image: Daily Picks and Flicks