(WEB HOST INDUSTRY REVIEW) -- After interrupting President Barack Obama's address to Congress on health care reform by shouting "You lie!," US Representative Joe Wilson received a formal reprimand from the House of Representatives. His actions also made his online fundraising campaign the target of a distributed denial-of service attack over the weekend, which sent his site and those of about 150 other Piryx (www.piryx.com) web hosting clients offline.
According to a Computerworld report, a DDoS attack started flooding joewilsonforcongress.com and Piryx's servers on Friday afternoon, continuing into the early hours of Saturday morning. Piryx chief executive officer Tom Serres told Computerworld that the traffic generated was initially manageable until "massive bandwidth spikes," measuring about 1 gigabit of traffic per second, knocked servers offline.
Wilson's and about 150 other Piryx clients' hosting services went offline before traffic blocking filters successfully mitigated the attacks Saturday morning.
A specifically nonpartisan operation, Piryx is a start-up based in Austin, Texas that provides services for managing online campaigns and fundraising for politicians and nonprofit organizations.
While politically motivated attacks of this sort are somewhat unusual in the US, it seems to be increasingly common for hackers to take on political targets. Several high-profile US and South Korean websites were attacked in July, and Georgia's president's website was knocked offline as tensions rose between it and neighboring Russia. These examples and others show that political beliefs have the potential to spill over into explosive online attacks.
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