BBC’s web portal was down for a few hours on Thursday, courtesy of a cyber-attack, specifically a distributed denial of service (DDoS). A representative from a group of computer hackers who plan to take on the Islamic State, took the blame. They said that they were testing their capabilities and never intended to down the website.
Rory Cellan-Jones, technology correspondent at BBC, received a message on Saturday from a group called New World Hacking. He later posted it on Twitter. Here are a few excerpts from the message:
It was only a test, we didn’t exactly plan to take it down for multiple hours. Our servers are quite strong.
We realise sometimes what we do is not always the right choice, but without cyber hackers… who is there to fight off online terrorists?
The reason we really targeted [the] BBC is because we wanted to see our actual server power.
According to a group member named Ownz, New World Hacking came together in 2012 and consists of 12 people- eight males and four females.
The services affected by this cyber-attack were the news website, the BBC-iPlayer and every other service on the BBC web portal. The attack is reported to be a DDoS type attack, which is the most popular method hackers use to crack any kind of website.
DDoS basically floods the website with multiple strings of messages which the server cannot handle simultaneously and leads the website into going down.
BBC initially blamed ‘technical issues’ and displayed an ‘internal error’ message to all the website visitors. The website went down early on Thursday and was back up in a few hours.