The company protecting many of Donald Trump’s websites from cyberattacks isn’t too worried about Anonymous’ threat of “total war” set to kick off on April 1.
“We see [distributed denial-of-service] attacks all the time,” said Matthew Prince, cofounder and CEO of CloudFlare. “Everything from kids in Guy Fawkes masks to nation-state actors. As a result, CloudFlare’s network gets smarter with every request that goes through it.”
Prince would not comment on specific customers of his company, which offers a service to route web traffic through its network that protects and accelerates its clients’ websites. Still, a simple network scan reveals CloudFlare acts as the security layer around many of the GOP frontrunner’s websites, including addresses for his campaign, organisation, and hotels.
Earlier this month, the hacker collective Anonymous renewed “Operation Trump” and set April 1st as the day it would launch a major cyberattack against Trump’s websites, calling on everyone to overflow a site with data to take it offline that’s known as a distributed denial-of-service attack, or DDoS.
“DDoS attacks are not particularly sophisticated cyber attacks,” Prince said. “They are sort of the functional equivalent of a caveman with a club.”
A big reason why Prince is confident his client’s websites will stay online — even when attacked by a group like Anonymous — is due to CloudFlare having much more bandwidth than they do. And, he added, every day CloudFlare sees hundreds of attacks against its sites, which include companies, governments, and even Anonymous itself.
Think of the internet like a pipe and when you type in a web address, you’re sending liquid through. After a while, that pipe might get clogged up if there’s too much.
“The solution to that is to have bigger pipes than the attackers do. CloudFlare has over 10 terabits capacity across our network, and the largest attacks that we see, usually among nation-states, get up to about one-half a terabit.”
Even hackers with Anonymous tend to agree. In their public chatroom, Anonymous users lamented Trump’s use of CloudFlare for security. Documents shared amongst the hackers viewed by Tech Insider also show that many of Trump’s websites are listed with their CloudFlare addresses, though some are not.
One site not protected by the service, www.citizensfortrump.com, was briefly taken offline by Anonymous on Wednesday.
“We are under constant attack, so I don’t mean to be flip,” Prince said. “Not that we’re not worried, but we’re always worried.”
So what will happen on April 1st?
“My hunch is it will not be particularly different than most days. Again, attacks against our network are frequent. Unless someone comes up with something radically new, we can typically solve those issues.”
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