Hacking group Anonymous has named and shamed the Silicon Valley security company CloudFlare, accusing it of providing security protection to some websites that Anonymous believes ISIS use for propaganda purposes.
The irony here of course is that Anonymous seems to be blaming Cloudflare for supplying web security protection against hackers to its customers, and the inference here is that CloudFlare should be doing more to ‘know their customer’. The service in question, which seems to have annoyed Anonymous, is CloudFlare’s anti-DDoS service. This service, which CloudFlare offers its estimated 4 million customers, protects websites from distributed denial of services attacks.
DDoS attacks are a favourite tactic used by Anonymous to bring down websites by saturating the website links with traffic generated by hundreds if not thousands of PC’s under its control. These armies of web bots can launch simultaneous attacks on the target and flood the web servers' resources, leaving it unable to service genuine requests and so appear unresponsive and service requests will simply timeout. DDoS is a major security issue for businesses and CloudFare provides protection through its online services.
The issues that Anonymous seems to be having with CloudFlare is that it is unable to bring down any of the suspected ISIS propaganda sites protected by CloudFlares services. This is of course wonderful testimony for the effectiveness of CloudFlares product. However the really strange thing is that Anonymous seem to think that CloudFlare should not only ‘know their customer’ but also should have an obligation to vet the content of customers' sites … though to whose political or moral criteria remains a mystery.
As Matthew Prince, CloudFlare's co-founder and CEO, said: "Anonymous uses us for some of its sites, despite pressure from some quarters for us to take Anonymous sites offline.”