Posted on May 17, 2018 at 2:26 PM
A new announcement was released from Alphabet, which is a parent company of Google. In it, the company has declared that its anti-DDoS attack project named Shield will now expand to protect political groups within the US.
Alphabet expands its protection system
A recent rise in DDoS attacks has had every website owner worried that they might be next, and the same goes for various political groups of the US. Because of this, Alphabet has decided to widen the scope of its protection project, Shield.
The project was originally created by Jigsaw, previously known as Google Ideas. Its purpose was to protect different smaller news organizations which needed assistance when it comes to protection of freedom of expression. Despite the fact that any organization was allowed and even welcome to join the project, it was seen as a necessity for the smaller organizations in particular.
Bigger news outlets were usually capable of protecting themselves, which could not be said for the rest of them. The service first appeared in 2016, when it offered to implement a reverse proxy defense system with multiple layers which would reject DDoS attacks.
The need for the project arose once more, due to the rise of such attacks against political organizations. This is especially important due to the midterm elections that are soon to be held. With the new expansion, the project will be able to protect campaigns, candidates, as well as committees regarding political actions.
How do DDoS attacks work?
For those who might not know, DDoS attacks have a specific method of attack that revolves around bombarding a specific website with requests for information. By doing this, the so-called “junk traffic” of the website is increased immensely, until the point where the servers cannot handle them anymore. This causes the entire system to crash, and the website goes offline.
Through the use of Google’s infrastructure, Shield is capable of filtering out such fake information requests, while it can recognize legitimate users and allow them access to the website without any issues. Setting up the Project Shield’s tool is simple and quick. With it, any website that uses it will be fully protected, without having to worry about DDoS attacks for as long as the tool is active. All that it takes for the implementation of the tool is for any organization that wants it to sign up at this website.
Jigsaw’s spokesperson, Dan Keyserling, published a blog post recently in which he states that digital attacks against political institutions, democratic ones, in particular, have become more frequent recently. This goes for the situation in the US, as well as on a global scale. The nature of the attack is rather simple, but it can have large consequences. Because of that, these attacks have been used for silencing voters, as well as political speech in general.
With these organizations being a very important part of the democratic process in general, it is necessary to protect them from online attacks.
Political organizations need protection
The need for the project’s expansion was mostly recognized after the Department of Homeland Security’s warning that hackers with ties to Russia might be targeting the election systems. The systems of 21 US states are believed to be potentially compromised, and this has been the growing fear ever since the presidential elections in 2016. Since then, the improvement of the systems’ security has been one of the main focuses of the Congress.
Implementing Alphabet’s Project Shield might just be the game-changing decision, and the company doesn’t plan to stop here. Despite the fact that the US political organizations desperately need protecting, the same goes for many international organizations as well. This is why there are plans to expand the project even further to reach international scale in the next few months.
Jigsaw has more than capable resources to pull this off and is currently using machine learning in order to fight off the attacks. With it backing them up, many smaller organizations with fewer resources will be able to keep its work without the fear of malicious attacks.