DDoS attack on feminist blog backfires on International Women’s Day

Sunday March 8 was International Women’s Day, celebrating women’s achievements and contributions to society.

Women’s Day was an event that We Live Security fully supported, interviewing ESET researcher (and regular site contributor) Lysa Myers about the role of women in computer security.

But, judging by an internet attack which hit a popular feminist blog on Sunday, not everyone is such a fan of International Women’s Day and women having a voice.

Amber Gordon, the founder of femsplain.com, went on Twitter yesterday to share an image of how her site had been deluged with malicious web traffic, designed to bring the site to its knees through a Distributed Denial-of-Service (DDoS) attack.

Amber Gordon said that the site had suffered DDoS attacks in the past, but never with such severity. “I think it’s because it’s International Women’s Day,” she told The Verge.

A post from Twitter user @Sarkeesian suggested that they had used Low Orbit Ion Cannon (LOIC), a common tool for co-ordinating DDoS attacks to bring down the Femsplain website.

LOIC tool tweet

Of course, if the attackers had hoped to knock the site off the radar with their DDoS attack they hadn’t thought it through properly.

Femsplain used the attack to its advantage, exploiting the story of the DDoS attack on International Women’s Day to get the attention of the media.

Popular science blogger Phil Plait, also known as The Bad Astronomer, summed it up better than most:

Attackers may have tried to silence Femsplain, but they’ve failed. What’s more, the site has just successfully raised over $30,000 via Kickstarter, which will go towards ensuring there is a platform where all women’s voices can be heard.

Author Graham Cluley, We Live Security

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