The dust is settling from this week's Dutch DDoS attacks — by some accounts, the largest denial-of-service action ever mounted, channeling 300 gigabits of junk traffic to the web's weakest spots. For the most part, our tubes performed admirably. Most web users didn't see anything more than a mild slowdown. Spamhaus, the European anti-spam watchdog site targeted by the action, is still online. But despite recent skepticism from Gizmodo, the attacks caused real damage behind the scenes, overwhelming critical pieces of internet infrastructure and leaving serious questions about the vulnerabilities of the machinery that powers the web.
The most tangible damage came Saturday afternoon at the London Internet Exchange (LINX), a fiber-equipped exchange point that moves data between different parts of the network. It's legally designated as critical infrastructure. On a typical day, LINX peaks out at 1.6 terabits per second, but if you look at the graph below, you can see their self-monitored traffic line crater for hours in the middle of the day.
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