Last week there was an interesting report published which revealed that
denial of service (DOS) attacks are a whole lot more common that was
the contents of Aardvark's "million-dollar ideas" notebook
are revealed for all to see!
University researchers in the USA discovered that at least 4,000 DOS
attacks were being launched every week, and that a fair number of them
were directed at other Internet users, as opposed to websites or
One savvy Aardvark reader emailed me, suggesting that this could have
significant implications for those whose Internet access involved
a volume-based charging scheme (such as those on
The reader quite rightly pointed out that, given the high bandwidth offered
over a DSL link such as Jetstream, it would be very easy for a full-blown
DOS attack to result in huge volumes of traffic being generated over a relatively
short period of time -- charged at up to 20c per megabyte depending on your
Jetstream pricing plan.
While this type of attack could be used with limited success against a residential
user who has a dynamic IP number, business users who are using a static IP
and who leave their PCs and modems turned on overnight or even over a weekend
could find a nasty surprise in their next Telecom bill if they're not careful.
I'm sure that Telecom would refund the overcharge if you could prove that
the extra traffic was the result of a DOS attack -- but how are you going to
do that? Telecom has also been reported on occasion to demand that people pay
outstanding amounts or risk disconnection, even when those amounts are in
If anyone has already had a DOS attack leave them facing extra traffic charges,
please let me know.
NZ Herald's Adserver Joins The Strike?
I had quite a bit of trouble getting to the NZ Herald website on several
occasions over the weekend -- the problem appearing to be that Wilson &
Horton's adserver was not responding.
Normally the NZHerald.co.nz site is pretty reliable -- but this weekend
I wasn't the only one who found it inaccessible most of the time.
With the NZ Herald's journalists out on strike and urging Net users to boycot
the site, it would seem that the adserver must have decided to go out in sympathy.
It seems that the NZ Herald webserver has joined the adserver and now, as of
mid-morning Monday, the whole site is out on strike.
Reminds me of a series of Microsoft ads running on TV -- "the server does not
get lonely, it shows no emotion, -- it's down the pub having a beer with the journalists..."
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