The Malta Independent 27 April 2017, Thursday

Servers hosting Daphne Caruana Galizia's website suffer 'unprecedented' DDoS attack

Tuesday, 21 March 2017, 11:46 Last update: about 2 months ago

The servers hosting Daphne Caruana Galizia's personal blog have suffered a DDoS attack.

A DDos (denial of service) attack occurs when many systems flood the bandwidth of a targeted system, in an attempt to make the online service unavailable.

Mrs Caruana Galizia does not yet know who is behind the attack, but did say it is highly likely to be a person of Maltese nationality..

Prior to the DDoS attack on the servers, she said, a fake Gmail account was setup - similar to her personal email address. The person who created the account, then emailed two persons working for the company who handle software support for the website, and tried to acquire information required to hack the site through them.

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This, however, did not work and the software support personnel realised that it was not Mrs Caruana Galizia's email address, and also the use of broken English in the email. This, she said, is what led her to believe that the person behind the attack is Maltese. The police were contacted aftewr the DDOS attack occurred later, and an investigation is ongoing.

The fake Gmail address used a proxy server, and thus far no culprit has been identified, she said. She explained that aside from the crime involving the DDoS attack, impersonation is also a crime.

Vanilla Communications, a server hosting company owned by David Thake, hosts Daphne Caruana Galizia's personal blog - a service that she pays for each month, she said. In a Facebook post, Mr Thake said that the servers hosting her website suffered a DDoS attack which he called "unprecedented in scale."

Mr Thake, in his post, said the attack brought the network to its knees.


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