As far as I am aware, we have never had an enemy of the state living in our house. I once had a friend who used to insist he was an anarchist but these days he’s doing light-entertainment work for the BBC, so I’m not sure that counts. However, if the reports about the online attack that brought down large sections of the internet last week are to be believed, then we may all soon be hosting enemy combatants in our homes.
Without diving too deeply into the technical details, the incident saw a huge, co-ordinated attack on one of those largely unknown but crucial pieces of web infrastructure. The attack — called a distributed denial of service or DDOS — works by overloading a site’s servers with far too many requests for it to process, causing it to fail.
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