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Large DDoS Attack on GitHub

by Brent Kirkpatrick

(Date Published: .)

Hit by 1.35 Terabits per second, GitHub went down.

The largest known DDoS attack occured on Wednesday, Feb. 28, 2018. GitHub, a popular source-code versioning and development platform, watched their web site go down. They required Akamai's DDoS protection service, Prolexic, in order to recover. The attackers used a relatively new type of packet reflection: memcached.

Akamai recorded inbound traffic to GitHub reaching 1.35 Terabits per second while outbound traffic remained constant. After taking over routing GitHub's traffic, Akamai recorded the remainder of the attack lasting an hour.

github surrounded by inbound arrows

Akamai used sophisticated techniques to mitigate the effect of the incoming traffic. Akamai took over routing GitHub's traffic, routing it through higher-capacity servers and filtering out malicious data packets. They were able to mitigate 1.3 Terabits per second at the peak. More details on their blog post.

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