Widespread DoS attacks paralyse YLE website
Wednesday, May 16th, 2007

The website of the Finnish Broadcasting Company (YLE) was hit on Monday and Tuesday by at least three denial-of-service (DoS) attacks, which effectively paralysed the sites service for short periods. First indications, according to F-Secure expert Mikko Hyppnen, were that the attempts were launched by a Romanian or East European group, who had made earlier threats of such attacks. Speaking on TV on Wednesday morning, Hyppnen did not rule out the possibility that there might be Finnish members in the attacking group.

In the course of Tuesday it was possible to access the YLE site only intermittently, owing to the massive loading from a hostile attack. The company was able to get the servers up and running again, but is apparently braced for further attempts. The head of security at the public broadcaster was unable to identify a motive for the attacks or their possible perpetrators, but the high profile accorded the company during the Eurovision Song Contest - YLE was host broadcaster for the competition in Helsinki - was offered as one reason. YLE has not been the target of such cyber-harassment in the past.

The Finnish Communications Regulatory Authority collected information on the attacks on Tuesday and passed this to the government. According to a data security expert at the Authority, the attacks were carried out in an exceptional fashion, making use of peer-to-peer file sharing sites, such that all requests were directed to the YLE server. The logjam was released when YLE restricted all access to the site from foreign IP addresses. There was no intent to penetrate the system, only to cause annoyance and disruption.

(Source: Helsingin Sanomat)