WordPress: DDoS attacks came from China

The attacks have been described as the site's largest in its six-year history

The large distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks that hit the WordPress.com blog publishing platform last week originated from China, according to the founder of the site.

A DDOS attack involves harnessing hundreds or thousands of computers to simultaneously bombard a web site with data so it becomes overwhelmed. The computers in such attacks have typically been infected with malware so they can be used without the consent and awareness of their owners.

The attacks, which brought slowdowns to the WordPress.com site, were severe enough to interfere with the company's three data centers in Chicago, San Antonio and Dallas. The site has since returned to normal as of Monday.

WordPress said last week the attacks might have been politically motivated and aimed at an unnamed Chinese-language blog, but it no longer has that view.

"Don't think it's politically motivated anymore," WordPress Founder Matt Mullenweg said in an e-mail to IDG News Service. "However the attacks did originate in China."

Mullenweg did not elaborate on the change in view or offer details on the source of the attacks.

The attacks directed "multiple Gigabits per second and tens of millions of packets per second" and were the "largest and most sustained" in its six-year history, Mullenweg previously said.

China has been frequently named as the country of origin for several major cyberattacks. Chinese hackers have been accused of launching cyber attacks to steal gigabytes of data from foreign energy companies, according to security vendor McAfee. In 2009, Google was also the victim of an attack that it alleged originated from China.

Very often the true source of a DDOS attack is unclear. While computers launching the attacks might be based in one country, they could be under control of hackers in a third country. Users at high risk of malware infections that can be used for DDOS attacks are those that don't run anti-virus software, don't keep their operating system updated or are running pirated operating systems that can't be updated.

The Chinese government has responded to these reports, saying it denies being involved in any cyber attacks. "The allegation that China supports hacking is groundless," a China foreign ministry spokesman said last month.

Join the newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection

Tags Internet-based applications and servicessecurityWordpressinternetsocial media

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Michael Kan

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Ben Ramsden

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

Brainstorming, innovation, problem solving, and negotiation have all become much more productive and valuable if people can easily collaborate in real time with minimal friction.

Sarah Ieroianni

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.

Ratchada Dunn

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The Huddle Board’s built in program; Sharp Touch Viewing software allows us to easily manipulate and edit our documents (jpegs and PDFs) all at the same time on the dashboard.

George Khoury

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The biggest perks for me would be that it comes with easy to use and comprehensive programs that make the collaboration process a whole lot more intuitive and organic

David Coyle

Brother PocketJet PJ-773 A4 Portable Thermal Printer

I rate the printer as a 5 out of 5 stars as it has been able to fit seamlessly into my busy and mobile lifestyle.

Kurt Hegetschweiler

Brother PocketJet PJ-773 A4 Portable Thermal Printer

It’s perfect for mobile workers. Just take it out — it’s small enough to sit anywhere — turn it on, load a sheet of paper, and start printing.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?