The Ministry of Justice (MoJ) website was hit by a Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attack on Wednesday, in the latest high-profile incident of this nature.
The government department revealed on Twitter that the attack was taking place on Wednesday morning, making its website inaccessible.
Unfortunately the Justice website is down following a DDoS attack last night, we are working hard to bring it back online ASAP.— Ministry of Justice (@MoJGovUK) February 12, 2014
The attack was mitigated around three hours after it started. “The justice website is now back up and running. Sorry for any inconvenience the downtime caused,” the MoJ wrote on Twitter.
V3 contacted the MoJ for more information, but had received no reply at the time of publication. While the source of the incident is unclear the attack underlines the threats facing organisations of all types from DDoS attacks.
CloudFlare, the firm that mitigated the attack, did not reveal the target, but said that it could represent the start of a new era of “ugly” attacks.
The attack took advantage of the Network Time Protocol used to synchronise the time between computers online, which CloudFlare has previously warned could be easily compromised for a large-scale attack.
DDoS attacks are common across the web, with a huge attack hitting China last year and another targeting a Dutch firm called Spamhaus, which peaked at 300Gbps.
Dan Worth is the news editor for V3 having first joined the site as a reporter in November 2009. He specialises in a raft of areas including fixed and mobile telecoms, data protection, social media and government IT. Before joining V3 Dan covered communications technology, data handling and resilience in the emergency services sector on the BAPCO Journal.