Thursday evening, the conservative comment boards and blogosphere lit up with the possibility that the U.S. Government might be attacking the internet stalwart Drudge Report, journalist Matt Drudge’s aggregate links page that tends to serve as a filter for the sheer amount of data and websites available for consumption on a daily basis.
Given the second tweet – that the attacks were coming from all over, and none could be traced to the Fort Meade in Maryland where the U.S. headquarters of United States Cyber Command and the National Security Agency are – the indication is that the disruption of service attack might have been a botnet, and it could have come from anywhere.
Botnets have been known in the cyber world for some time. They are deliberately timed messages all sent to a single target with the purpose of overwhelming the system in order to disrupt service. Botnets are triggered by a remote source sending orders to malware that can sit dormant for years before being triggered. Earlier in 2016, a botnet attacked several social media platforms and did disrupt service for a number of hours.
The question then, if this particular DDoS attack WAS a botnet, who set it off and why. In the current American political climate, as caustic as it is, the perpetrators could be anyone on a long list. Matt Drudge was one of the hugely influential journalists with a website who was openly supportive of President-Elect Donald Trump’s candidacy and journey to that point. Whether it was for web traffic numbers or not, Drudge was a reliable source for linking to the latest information.
The question of the U.S. Government spurring botnets is another matter. The current presidential regime is three weeks from surrendering to the successor. On Thursday, the U.S. government censured Russia accusing the leadership there of interfering in the American presidential election. Matt Drudge put that story up front and center for the evening. He reported the attack at approximately 8:30 pm eastern time. Is that connected? Unless some good forensics is done on the messaging, we may never know. The site remained visible on multiple browsers throughout the attack, but not everywhere.
Bare facts and information for this post learned at Washington Times.