Greatfire.org is a site that collects data on the Great Firewall of China and shares real-time and historical information about blocked web sites and searches, with a particular focus on Google and Baidu. Now Greatfire.org has become the victim of their first ever distributed denial of service (DDoS) attack, most likely following a recent article in the Wall Stree Journal that highlight backlashes to U.S. Cloud providers that are being used to get around China’s Great Firewall.
This tactic used didn’t just bring down the website by flooding it with lots of requests, 2.6 billion requests per hour at the time of the official blog post. Websites are not equipped to handle that kind of volume, so they usually end up offline. That is only part of the issue though as Greatfire.org now also faces a lot of extra bandwidth costs.
The site is hosted on Amazon’s Cloud service where you pay for traffic. The DDoS attack accumulated about 2500 times the usual traffic which could end with an extra bill of $30,000 – that is if Amazon doesn’t wave the charges due to them originating from an attack. It would be fair to them to do it, but they aren’t obligated to do so. This kind of attack is aggressive and is an exhibition of censorship by brute force. Attackers resort to tactics like this when they are left with no other options.
Thanks to Greatfire.org for providing us with this information