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GitHub Hit With Largest DDoS Attack


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In a growing sign of the increased sophistication of both cyber attacks and defenses, GitHub has revealed that it weathered the largest-known DDoS attack in history this week.


DDoS -- or distributed denial of service in full -- is a cyber attack that aims to bring websites and web-based services down by bombarding them with so much traffic that their services and infrastructure are unable to handle it all. It's a fairly common tactic used to force targets offline.


GitHub is a common target -- the Chinese government is widely-suspected to be behind a five-day-long attack in 2015 over its hosting of software to bypass its internet censorship system -- and this newest assault tipped the scales at an incredible 1.35Tbps at peak.


A blog post retelling the incident, GitHub said the attackers hijacked something called 'memcaching' -- a distributed memory system known for high-performance and demand -- to massively amplify the traffic volumes they were firing at GitHub. To do that, they initially spoofed GitHub's IP address and took control of memcached instances that GitHub said are "inadvertently accessible on the public internet."


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