Internet slows as historically unprecedented cyber-battle ensues

This week you may well have thought your connection to the internet was slowing down – in fact you would be right, and it's not just you! According to security specialists Spamhaus, a multi-national group based in both London and Geneva, there's a war going on outside no one is safe from. The beastly battle between Spamhaus and a supposed nefarious web host by the name of Cyberbunker have resulted in what the former says is a global internet slowdown.

What we've got going on here is a battle on several tiers. The first is the blocking of Cyberbunker by the powers that be – with Spamhaus, that is. The second is the retaliation that a variety of hacker groups are taking on Cyberbunker as well as a collection of other sites for having blocked Cyberbunker in the first place. Cyberbunker is being accused of hosting SPAM websites and sources that Spamhaus has dedicated themselves to kicking out of the web.

Spamhaus is a non-profit group that helps email providers filter unwanted content from users across the web. They do this with a collection of block lists of known Spammers and malicious organizations. Spamhaus recently blocked servers maintained by Cyberbunker and said that the business was working in cooperation with "criminal gangs" of the Eastern Europe and Russian variety in their retaliation for the blocks.

Cyberbunker is known for being a server of all manner of web content, with only a couple of choice exceptions. Spam is not one of them. Speaking with the BBC this week, Steve Linford, chief executive for Spamhaus, noted that the retaliatory attacks happening now have been unheard of in scale.

"We've been under this cyber-attack for well over a week. But we're up – they haven't been able to knock us down. Our engineers are doing an immense job in keeping it up – this sort of attack would take down pretty much anything else. If you aimed this at Downing Street they would be down instantly. They would be completely off the internet." – Linford

Speaking about the effect this attack has been having on the rest of the web, Prof Alan Woodward also let the BBC know that the internet was, indeed, slowing down as a result. Woodward is a cybersecurity expert at the University of Surrey.

"If you imagine it as a motorway, attacks try and put enough traffic on there to clog up the on and off ramps. With this attack, there's so much traffic it's clogging up the motorway itself." – Woodward

According to Spamhaus' Linford, Google and a variety of other helpful companies with the capacity to assist have been making their resources available in an effort to "absorb" the traffic this event is generating. Linford has also added that they're quite confident that they'll prevail eventually.

"They are targeting every part of the internet infrastructure that they feel can be brought down. We can't be brought down. Spamhaus has more than 80 servers around the world. We've built the biggest DNS server around." – Linford

Sound like a fun battle to you? We'll be following this story with a close eye as it continues to affect us all. Let us know if you've felt the impact yourself – or if you think it's all bullocks, instead insisting that your internet is just slower than everyone else!