Ripple effects across internet after massive cyber attack

A RECORD-BREAKING cyber attack targeting an anti-spam watchdog group has sent ripples of disruption coursing across the web, experts said.

Spamhaus, a site responsible for keeping ads for counterfeit Viagra and bogus weight-loss pills out of the world's inboxes, said it had been buffeted by the monster denial-of-service attack since mid-March, apparently from groups angry at being blacklisted by the Swiss-British group.

"It is a small miracle that we're still online," Spamhaus researcher Vincent Hanna said.

Denial-of-service attacks overwhelm a server with traffic - like hundreds of letters being jammed through a mail slot at the same time.

Security experts measure those attacks in bits of data per second. Recent cyberattacks - like the ones that caused persistent outages at US banking sites late last year - have tended to peak at 100 billion bits per second.

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