DDoS (Distributed Denial of Service) - A type of external Internet attack, in which multiple sources attack a single target system, with the goal being denial of service for its users. DDoS attacks flood the target system with incoming messages at a rate much higher than it can process, therefore slowing it down to a level where it is rendered useless to users.
Sometime DDoS attacks are generated by competitors, or those with different political points of view. They can be extremely damaging to the website that is being targeted, and an annoyance to its regular readers. This is not a method of "competition" that I would ever condone or participate it. Obviously, being human, however, I do tend to get upset more when it happens to a site that I like than I am when it happens to a site I don't like.
The latter was the case this weekend with a site called "Wikileaks," which has become known for using "free speech" in a way that is irresponsible in the opinion of what many, including myself. It releases otherwise unpublished information that is often classified, highly sensitive to the security of certain persons, or just tasteless. I don't want to link to it from here, but you can check out the Wikipedia article on it to get the general idea.
Just as it was set to make a new highly-publicized "leak" of information sensitive to Europe and the Middle East, it started reporting that it was under a DDoS attack. The folks over at TechCrunch have investigated, and are doubting the story - hypothesizing that they may be claiming this attack to draw attention to their information. Part of this theory is that the information "leaked" may have been over-hyped, and really not that interesting. TechCrunch is having a hard time figuring out who would care enough to attack Wikileaks on this one.
So, what do you think - was it a DDoS, or just a publicity stunt? Do you care? ;-)
Jennifer Pointer (e-mail) is in Tulsa, OK. She promotes a simple, a low-tech approach to effective online profile management, search engine optimization and social networking.