Observing Cyberwar in Real-Time, Linking Individuals Despite Firewalls and Shielding NGOs from DDoS Attacks — Did Somebody Say Google?
In addition to squeezing users into using a single logon for Gmail, YouTube and other Google-owned properties and collecting personal information that may or may not have been shared with hostile or friendly governments, what else has Google been up to lately? Well, three things right off the bat: Digital Attack Map, uProxy and Project Shield.
Digital Attack Map is an interactive map that monitors DDoS attacks around the globe revealing what cyberwar looks like in real time. As an example, foreignpolicy.com points to a Digital Attack Map snapshot from August 27th. It shows a portion of Chinese cn domains being knocked offline.
“Chinese authorities described the hack as the largest cyberattack in the country’s history without pointing fingers at any particular party….
“Attacks whose origin and destination are both known are depicted as an arc between the two countries, with the data traveling from source to victim. Attacks whose origins are unknown but whose victims are clear are depicted as a downward flow into the victim country.”
Another example foreignpolicy.com used was the June 25th attack on South Korea that marked the 63rd anniversary of the start of the Korean War. The attack was carried out by the DarkSeoul gang, which has been linked to North Korea. “The attack shut down major media and government websites and represented a high-profile flare-up in ongoing tensions on the Korean Peninsula…. (It) was able to take down a series of prominent websites while using relatively little bandwidth.”
A third example was the “six-day attack on the United States, during which, among other things, hackers targeted U.S. banks. It’s notable for the incredible bandwidth used, which was far larger than that in a typical attack.”
Google also rolled out a proxy plug-in called uProxy. Elias Groll on foreignpolicy.com writes that uProxy “uses a peer-to-peer system to create secure Internet connections. By linking a user in, say, China with her trusted friend in the United States, the browser plug-in allows the user in China to access her American friend’s Internet via an encrypted connection that should, in theory, allow her to bypass the Great Firewall.” Hmmm, wonder if cybercriminals could find a use for it. Oh well, any tool can be used for something other than what the creator intended. knives, axes, bombs. Okay, maybe not bombs.
Finally Google is introducing Project Shield to protect NGOs (Non-Governmental Organizations) such as human rights organizations – wonder if that includes the ASPCA? – from DDoS (Distributed Denial of Service) attacks, which “take down a website by directing a flood of traffic toward it and overwhelming it or rendering it unusable.”
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