In a growing sign of the increased sophistication of both cyber attacks and defences, GitHub has revealed that this week it weathered the largest-known DDoS attack in history.
The code-sharing site was subjected to a colossal 1.35Tbits/sec surge in traffic, as unknown hackers attempted to take the platform offline. The attack was foiled by Akamai Prolexic’s anti-DDoS protections, which Github automatically activated shortly after detecting the spike in traffic.
The attack appears to be the largest on record, surpassing the previous record-holder, a 1.2Tbits/sec onslaught launched against Dyn in 2016.
While the attack on Github was larger in volume, the Dyn DDoS was both more sustained and more effective, knocking out internet connections and major websites across large portions of the US for many hours.
The Github attack, by contrast, was called off by the perpetrators after just eight minutes, which may indicate that the incident was merely a test of the hackers’ capabilities.
GitHub boasts almost 20 million users and is most commonly used by computer coders for open-source projects. The online firm is considered the largest host of source code in the world.
DDoS attacks have been on the rise in recent times. Last month, the website of the national tax office in the Netherlands was taken offline after a DDoS attack targeted the country’s largest banks. ABN Amro, ING and Rabobank said they were hit by hackers, temporarily disrupting online and mobile-banking services.