By Rich Miller
February 28, 2006
Several prominent weblogs have been hit with distributed denial of
service (DDoS) attacks in recent weeks, as the target list for digital
attackers continues to broaden. While some of the attacks appear to be
politically motivated, on Monday a DDoS struck one of the
blogosphere's most financially successful bloggers.
Australian Darren Rowse confirmed that an outage Monday on his
ProBlogger weblog was caused by a DDoS, but provided no details about
the attackers or their motives. Rowse gained international attention
last year when he revealed that he would make more than $100,000 as a
solo blogger in 2005, primarily through earnings from Google AdSense
advertising and commissions from affiliate referral programs.
Has the success of professional bloggers made them viable financial
targets for professional DDoS attackers? Sites with large volumes of
transactions are the primary targets for a cottage industry of digital
extortionists using DDoS attacks, usually launched through large
botnets of compromised computers. These attacks have previously
targeted online betting sites, payment gateways, domain parking
services and even online games.
An earlier series of attacks targeted the blog of Michelle Malkin, who
led a movement among bloggers to mirror the controversial cartoons of
the Prophet Mohammad that initially appeared in a Danish magazine. The
attacks began Feb. 15, and escalated on Feb. 23, when an attack from a
botnet in Turkey forced Malkin to post on the Pajamas Media weblog
until her main site was available again.
The attacks on Malkin's blog appear to be part of a broader pattern of
hacker activism targeting sites that have featured the cartoons,
including the defacement of hundreds of sites as well as denial of
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