European political organisations and other political entities can now make use of Project Shield, Alphabet's anti-DDoS tool that came from its cybersecurity incubator Jigsaw.
Project Shield was already available to news and human rights organisations. Its goal is to defend organisations from Distributed Denial of Service attacks, which employ fake traffic in overwhelming numbers, so that genuine traffic doesn’t go through.
For visitors, DDoS attacks manifest as a website that can’t load.
Project Shield has already defended political organisations in the past – last May it was used by US political parties.
Now, Europeans can use it too, and just in time for the European Parliament elections which are scheduled to take place in May this year.
The media are saying that Project Shield is a welcome tool, especially after 2017 when the Czech Republic’s statistical office was DDoSed as it was counting votes.
Spain’s Constitutional Court was also under attack as the country’s government was in dispute witih Catalonia. Last year in Mexico, political party websites were under DDoS, while they were being mentioned on live TV during the pre-election time.
“Generally speaking DDOS as an attack is on the rise across the various threat vectors,” says Scott Carpenter, director of policy and international engagement at Jigsaw.
“Any moment of elections is an especially critical moment, and what we’ve been learning over time is whether it’s an election campaign, a TV debate, an opportunity to raise funds, or calculating the results at the end of the election, those are all moments of vulnerability.”
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