December 08, 2010, 4:46 PM — Google. Twitter. Government websites. Fortune 500 companies. All have been victims of crippling distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attacks. The attacks have grown in reach and intensity thanks to botnets and a bounty of application flaws. And Akamai Technologies has a seen it all firsthand.
Many people use Akamai services without even realizing it. The company runs a global platform with thousands of servers that customers rely on to do business online. The company currently handles tens of billions of daily Web interactions for such companies as Audi, Fujitsu and NBC, and organizations like the Department of Defense and Nasdaq. There's rarely a moment--if there are any--when an Akamai customer is not under the DDoS gun.
What it's like to...
So what's it like to be in charge of this much computing power when the attacker decides to strike? Akamai Security Evangelist Michael Smith recently took an audience at the SecTor security conference through a blow-by-blow account of some recent high-profile cases.
Taking center stage is the massive cyberattack on government websites and others around the world during the Fourth of July long weekend in 2009. In that onslaught, a botnet of some 180,000 hijacked computers hammered U.S. government websites and caused headaches for businesses here and in South Korea.