DDoSPedia

An Online Encyclopedia Of Cyberattack and Cybersecurity Terms

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Operation Blackout

Operation Global Blackout (or simply Operation Blackout) was an alleged plan by Anonymous to flood the world’s 13 root domain name service (DNS) servers with traffic, effectively “shutting off” the Internet by disabling the ability for a web address to be translated into an IP through DNS. The attack was scheduled for March 31st, 2012, but never actually took place as planned.

According to an Anonymous Pastebin message, the plan was to use a form of a DNS Amplification Attack known as Ramp (or Reflective Amplification), effectively turning the DNS servers on themselves by forcing them to return a large amount of DNS query reply traffic back to their own (spoofed) IP addresses. Despite security researchers’ disbelief that the attack would succeed, the warning of such an attack was enough to drive engineers and computer security professionals into preventative mode, ensuring that the root DNS servers would be able to handle a large attack.

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