Recently, a Reuters’ new feed dated 1/24/14, announced that “Google’s Gmail down for users around the world” (http://www.reuters.com/article/2014/01/24/us-google-gmail-idUSBREA0N1JD20140124). Not surprisingly, this drew the attention of many of us in the industry. However, not surprisingly, many if not all of us recognize that the challenge of providing online services in today’s environment is only getting more difficult and expensive.
Recently a client of ours came under an extensive and broad-based DDOS (Distributed Denial of Service) attack. To say the least, this caused us to go into overdrive to isolate the issues involved and to make sure we did everything we could to implement corrective action. As part of that process, we restricted access by country into our servers while we addressed the issues.
Once the problem was isolated and fixed, we opened access to the majority of countries globally. However, we deliberately blocked certain countries from immediate access. Over time, we would open on a case by case basis certain countries to determine IF there was a negative impact on our system.
Not surprisingly, certain countries, once opened, caused our metrics to indicate a significant increase in the amount of either spam or deliberate attacks on our servers to try to gain entry. Needless to say, these countries will remain nameless here, but they would not be surprising to most of us if a listing were to be provided.
As I write this, the Sochi Olympics have just ended. Additionally, we’re all aware of much of the fall-out from the “Snowden affair” as it relates to the NSA. These two diametrically opposed issues bring to mind the complexities within which we all exist. The idea of a “cyber war” being in existence is not difficult to acknowledge even while the world is celebrating sport with a keen eye on the Olympics.
The main question in my mind is not if the war exists, but the degree to which it is active at any moment and how broad is the reach of the participants.
One interesting article can be found at http://www.wired.com/threatlevel/2013/06/general-keith-alexander-cyberwar/all/. It makes one stop and think about the potential connections of Cazbah’s experience with country by country filtering in light of the global situation.