The Black Lives Matter website was the target of over 100 cyber attacks during a seven-month period in 2016, according to a new report by Deflect Labs, a Montreal cyber security project that offers free services to qualifying websites. The online strikes against blacklivesmatter.com have come in the form of Distributed Denial of Service, or DDoS, attacks, which floods bandwidth and web servers leading to a shutdown of the site.
Members of the hacker group known as Ghost Squad took credit for the initial attack, on April 29, while subsequent attacks have come from a loose collection of hacker groups organized around the #AllLivesMatter slogan, the report suggests.
"These small, loosely organized mobs appear minutes to hours after the start of the original attack and lob a hodge-podge of various attack methods, often to no effect," Deflect Labs writes in the report. "These actions are often accompanied by a flurry of queries from various website downtime monitoring solutions, as attackers try to collect trophies for their participation in the mob. Furthermore, we noticed a sophisticated actor who was able to generate malicious traffic on a level beyond anyone else that we documented targeting BLM."
Many of these attacks, the report concludes, were extremely easy and cheap to carry out: "We are beginning to see authorities pursue and shut down “bulletproof” hosting and booter services that enable a lot of these attacks, yet more needs to be done."