Sorry for the brief diary and lack of hashtags in the title, but I thought this was interesting: the Arbor Networks Security Blog have reported that a DDoS tool was discovered which is tailor-made to attack Healthcare.gov.
In case you don't know what all of that means, DDoS means "distributed denial of service," and it's a way to attack a website by flooding it with requests for a webpage. Essentially, if enough users download this little program and run it, it will keep legitimate users from accessing it. The site could slow to a crawl or crash altogether.
I've wondered since the first reports of the site's problems how much of it was honest ineptitude, sabotage, or the result of attacks on the site from outside.
Now, this shouldn't be a surprise to anyone. Who doesn't do a little hacking here and there? I'm sure my 8yo daughter is trying to weaponize her Minecraft ocelots as we speak. What is surprising is that there haven't been dozens of anti-Healthcare.gov tools put out there for fun and profit yet, and this one's creator appears, according to a detailed article on this program on the arstechnica.com site, to be using a very old programming language, putting the age of this so-called "hacker" in his or her 40's.
And this was funny, too:
Of course, there's no way of knowing who wrote and posted the tool, which has been mentioned on social media sites. It's certainly possible that it's the work of critics of President Obama's healthcare legislation. But until we learn more, there's no way to rule out the possibility that it was developed by an Obamacare supporter with the hope of discrediting critics.Edit: Rec list?? I swear, any time I post inane tripe it ends up here. Thanks! Now I'm going to go see Thor and Loki work out their romantic tension.