Anyone who follows tech news at all knows there's been a serious spate of high-profile DDOS attacks aimed at various entities recently, including outages affecting both the PlayStation Network and XBox Live online services over Christmas.
What fewer know is that the attacks only ceased because a third party -Kim Dotcom, the controversial founder of Megaupload- actually paid a bounty to the hackers to make them stop.
Many are (finally) seeing this as a wake-up call to start taking network security seriously. A DDOS attack is relatively easy for a hacker group to set up, and it's relatively hard to defend against. But given the huge costs -and embarrassment- associated with such attacks, self-defense is vital.
In this two-part article, we'll take an in-depth look at the problem.