Business Insider reports: The Drudge Report, the highly trafficked conservative news website, has been knocked offline for extended periods of time over the course of the last two weeks, succumbing to large distributed denial of service attacks, according to its founder, Matt Drudge.
And it’s a mystery who’s behind it all.
Drudge wrote on Twitter that a December 30 attack was the “biggest DDoS since [the] site’s inception.”
A DDoS attack is executed by using hijacked computers or electronic devices to flood a website with redundant requests, aiming to overload the website’s hosting server and render it unavailable.
But, according to cybersecurity experts who spoke to Business Insider, using such a method to take down the Drudge Report would not be easy.
The website is already equipped to handle a high volume of visitors and scale out to accommodate spikes in traffic. Moreover, a website that generates so many page views would likely employ strong defense measures, the cybersecurity experts said.
“The Drudge Report has a massive readership,” said Ajay Arora, CEO and co-founder of the cybersecurity firm Vera. “Generally someone that has that kind of viewership is going to have sophisticated hosting and counter defenses against DDoS attacks.”
Since its inception in 1996, the Drudge Report has been a home to conservatives who feel disenfranchised by traditional media. Drudge has marketed his website as a news destination not controlled by corporate interests or politicians. And he’s had great success.
SimilarWeb, an analytics firm, continually ranks the Drudge Report in the top-five most trafficked media publishers in the US . According to analytics posted to the website, the Drudge Report has amassed approximately 775 million page views in the past 31 days — all with hardly any traffic coming from social-media channels.
It’s a high-prized target, and one that now sees itself under attack by an unknown culprit.
For his part, Drudge has pointed the finger at the US government, tweeting that the traffic which downed his website had “VERY suspicious routing [and timing].”
“Attacking coming from ‘thousands’ of sources,” he wrote on the social media platform. “Of course none of them traceable to Fort Meade…”
Drudge seemed to imply that his site was taken down in connection with punishment leveled against Russia for election-related hacking. Read more at Business Insider.