Reddit suffers DDoS attack; cause unknown

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Old 21-Apr-2013
Ginni Singh
Reddit suffers DDoS attack; cause unknown

Reddit was hit by a DDoS attack on Friday, with the cause, or for that matter the identity of the perpetrators of the attack still unknown. A Reddit representative told the Huffington Post that the attack was "blatantly malicious.

A DDoS, or distributed denial of service attack makes the service unavailable to its users. Its perpetrators generally look to temporarily interrupt or suspend the services of a host connected to the Internet. When hit, a banner showed up on Reddit's front page, that read, "Site availability is being impacted by a malicious DDoS attack. Please stay tuned."

Interestingly, the service found itself in the limelight for the manhunt surrounding the Boston Marathon bombing, where a subreddit got down to the task of looking for the perpetrators of the bombings.

Don't know why!

After the bombing, there was a flood of postings on the site, with videos and photos of the attack used to identify the bomber. There were even accusations flung at people who were later found to be innocent. One theory says the DDoS attack stemmed from such posts which attacked ordinary redditors. As the police search for the person(s) responsible for the bombing goes on, the reddit search has also garnered its fair share of attention.

Reports over the past few days have shown how users of online forums like Reddit and 4Chan have combed through pictures and videos of the bombings looking to piece together the jigsaw. Their attempts to find suspects have been criticised by many, with the most vocal critics pointing out that the redditors could be engaging in discrimination and that elements of racism have already crept into these private investigations. An Associated Press report on the subject says, "As amateur online sleuths began identifying possible culprits, caught in the virtual manhunt were people who were wrongly accused or placed under suspicion by crowdsourcing. It showed the damage that digital investigators can cause and raised a relevant question: In the social-media generation, what does law enforcement unleash when, by implication, it deputizes the public for help?"

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