Morning Security Brief: Largest DDoS Attack Ever, Questions About Government Cell Phone Tracking, and More
Lessons from the largest distributed denial of service attack in history; what the ACLU found in e-mails from the Justice Department about phone tracking; How Mexican drug cartels use children as young as 11, and more.
► A distributed denial of service attack (DDoS) against spam fighting company Spamhaus is said to be the largest in history by a factor of three. It was apparently launched after the company “blocked servers maintained by Cyberbunker, a Dutch web host that states it will host anything with the exception of child pornography or terrorism-related material,” reports the BBC. It reveals serious problems that have long been ignored with the architecture of the Internet , reports Computerworld.
► The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of Northern California has obtained U.S. Department of Justice e-mails that reveal how federal investigators routinely use a device called a stingray that can create a false cellphone tower, allowing authorities to determine a particular mobile phone’s precise location, reports Ars Technical. Stingrays, also called IMSI catchers, aren't new but the ACLU reportedly found that the agency wasn’t admitting they were being used “when asking for permission to conduct electronic surveillance from federal magistrate judges,” the article states. That raises the concern that “unsupervised use of such technology can inadvertently collect information of people who are not suspected of any crime, nor under investigation.”
► Elsewhere in the news, Wired's Danger Room writes about Mexican drug cartel violence and a new report that "details how they use children as young as 11 years old to do their murderous bidding." Reuters reports on a mile-long train hauling oil from Canada that "derailed, spilling 30,000 gallons of crude in western Minnesota ." And Voice of America has a piece on how Thailand has begun peace talks with Muslim insurgents .