Was attack on BBC website the biggest volley of DDoS fire ever seen?

BBC iPlayer

The major volley of DDoS fire which hit the BBC websites early on New Year's Eve last year could be the biggest Distributed Denial of Service attack ever witnessed.

At least, that's according to New World Hacking, the anti-Islamic State organisation that was behind the DDoS, which claims the attack reached a peak of 602Gbps, as Network World reports.

If true, that's not far off double the size of the previous biggest attack, which hit 334Gbps going by figures from Arbor Networks.

Of course, the perpetrators of an attack have a vested interest in exaggerating its significance, so we have to take this with a sizeable pinch of salt. As Paul Nicholson of security outfit A10 Networks told Network World, the info regarding the size of the attack still needs to be confirmed.

Major disruption

However, there's no doubting that the attack was a very serious one. It began at 7am on the morning of New Year's Eve, and disrupted the BBC's websites and iPlayer service throughout most of the morning – and some folks on Twitter were still claiming there were issues with iPlayer going into the afternoon, after the BBC had officially announced that everything was okay again.

New World Hacking later told the Beeb that the attack was simply a test run, and the group hadn't planned to take the BBC down for multiple hours – the organisation noted that its "servers are quite strong".

New World Hacking is a group of a dozen activists who have previously taken part in the #OpParis cyberwar against IS, and an online campaign against the Ku Klux Klan before that.

You can bet this won't be the last we hear of them, but it will be very interesting to get confirmation that this attack against the BBC was the biggest volley of DDoS fire ever seen.

Darren is a freelancer writing news and features for TechRadar (and occasionally T3) across a broad range of computing topics including CPUs, GPUs, various other hardware, VPNs, antivirus and more. He has written about tech for the best part of three decades, and writes books in his spare time (his debut novel - 'I Know What You Did Last Supper' - was published by Hachette UK in 2013).