Internet Archive Disrupted by Sustained and “Mean” DDoS Attack

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The Internet Archive is experiencing sustained distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attacks, leading to service disruptions.

The non-profit research library, which provides free access to millions of historical documents, preserved websites and media content, said the attacks began on May 26 and have continued since.

Tens of thousands of fake information requests per second have been sent to the site, which has taken the service offline intermittently over the past three days, the Internet Archive revealed in a post on May 28.

Access to the Internet Archive Wayback Machine – which preserves the history of more than 866 billion web pages – has also been impacted.

However, the service insisted that all collections are safe.

Brewster Kahle, Founder and Digital Librarian of the Internet Archive, apologized for the disruption and highlighted the sustained and highly targeted nature of the attacks.

“With the support from others and the hard work of staff we are hardening our defenses to provide more reliable access to our library. What is new is this attack has been sustained, impactful, targeted, adaptive, and importantly, mean,” he noted.

The source of the attack is currently unknown.

The Internet Archive said it will continue provide updates about the incident on its X (formerly Twitter) account.

Public Libraries Under Attack

The incident follows several high-profile cyber-attacks against public libraries throughout the world. This includes the ransomware attack on the British Library in 2023, in which the attackers posted exfiltrated data for sale on the dark web after the institution refused to pay a ransom demand.

In April 2024, it was reported that the Solano County Library in California was hit by a cyber-attack, with computer services, phone lines and WiFi still down at all library locations.

The London Public Library in Ontario, Canada, was forced to shut down most of its services in December 2023 due to a cyber-attack.

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