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UK host 123-reg recovers after 'massive' DDoS attack

Later plays down attack

The UK's largest domain registrar 123-reg was hit this week by a "massive" DDoS attack that caused several hours of disruption to web traffic, third-party reports claim.

According to a statement issued and later removed by the company, it came under attack from a source in China on Wednesday morning. After reconfiguring its firewalls "to block bad traffic", the main thrust of the DDoS was repelled with 15 minutes although the DDoS continued to strike target firm throughout the day.

"As the largest domain provider in the UK, and coupled with the increase of these types of attacks across Europe in particular, we know we are a prime target. We are still in the process of resolving this," read a statement from 123-reg CEO, Thomas Vollrath.

"Our network of back-up servers ensured we were able to move our traffic across very quickly," he wrote.

The firm now appears to have removed all references to the attack from its support pages, including the contentious reference to the attack's possible origins in China.

The attack comes only a month after a large DDoS hit another big UK hoster, UK2.net, causing significant disruption.

Attacks on hosting providers are always seen as a touchtone for defensive strategies because firms in the sector are assumed to have experience in dealing with them. Sometimes the size of a DDoS attack can temporarily overwhelm even the best-defended companies.

Attacks on individual domains - such as the one on the UK's Serious Organised Crime Agency (SOCA) - are always likely to achieve more success. A 3 May DDoS successfully took down the site for most of that day.


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