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'Historic' Web Attack Didn't Cripple The Internet And Is Over Anyway

There's much angst over the cyberattack that we and others reported about Wednesday — a denial-of-service broadside allegedly aimed at an anti-spam group by a Dutch hosting company, Cyberbunker. It led to reports about, supposedly, major congestion on the Web.

Well, there are two things everyone needs to know this morning:

-- "Companies that monitor Internet traffic" say the attack is over. (The Wall Street Journal, in a pay wall-protected report.)

-- The claim that this "biggest in history" attack caused chaos on the Web "would be exciting and scary, except it's just not true." (Gizmodo)

As Gizmodo noted, the most alarming language about what happened came from Matthew Prince, CEO of CloudFlare. That's the anti-denial of service firm the European target of the attack, Spamhaus, went to for help when the attack began last week. But companies that monitor the Internet told Gizmodo they weren't detecting any global effects from the cyberattack.

"While it may have severely affected the websites it was targeted at, the global Internet as a whole was not impacted by this localized incident," Gizmodo heard from Renesys, one of those Internet watchdogs.

That's not to say the attack wasn't big. Mashable writes that "Kaspersky Labs, a leading security research group, called it 'one of the largest DDoS operations to date.' " Some 300 gigabits per second of data were being thrown at Spamhaus.

But, as VentureBeat found on Wednesday, "it's not until we check Akamai's global real-time web monitor that we see what the problem is: congestion is up in two general areas. Those would be the U.K. --— where the BBC lives — and Germany/Netherlands, where a local fight is on between a controversial hosting provider, Cyberbunker, and a spam-fighting filter service, Spamhaus."

Update at 11:45 a.m. ET. We Had The Names Reversed:

As commenter Joe Moore pointed out, we reversed the names of the groups that are battling. We've fixed things above.

Copyright 2013 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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