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Programmer Site GitHub Says It’s Victim of Service-Denial Attack

(Bloomberg) — GitHub Inc., a U.S. website designed for computer programmers, has been under attack since Thursday in what may be an attempt by China to disrupt efforts to circumvent that country’s censorship policies.

The San Francisco-based service, which helps programmers and tech companies share ideas for software development, has experienced its biggest-ever distributed denial of service attack, the company said on its website.

GitHub ddos-attack from China

GitHub ddos-attack from China

“87 hours in, our mitigation is deflecting most attack traffic,” GitHub posted on its status blog shortly after 1 p.m. New York time on Sunday. “We’re aware of intermittent issues and continue to adapt our response.” About three hours later GitHub said its evolving tactics were improving performance.

The Wall Street Journal, citing cybersecurity experts it didn’t identify, on Sunday reported the attack may have originated in China and routed overseas users of Baidu, China’s biggest search engine, to overwhelm two GitHub pages that linked to sites banned in China.

Roland Dobbins, a senior computer-security analyst with Arbor Networks Inc., said in a telephone interview that the incident appears to be a so-called reflection attack in which traffic is redirected from other sites to overwhelm the victim. He said he doesn’t have any insight on who is behind it and that tracking down a culprit often is less important than a strong defense against the attacks.

Those behind the assaults are “basically using other systems to attack” on their behalf, Dobbins said.

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