I will be upfront. The headline insulating a Mohammad/Charlie Hebdo connection is my conjecture – not anything Daryl Cagle has insulated. But here’s what we do know from Daryl. Cagle.com – one of the largest online repositories of editorial cartoons in the world has been hit with a brute force Distributed Denial of Service attack for the last couple of days that has knocked the site offline. Daryl tell me what is known is a list of dozens of IP addresses where the traffic originates and that the attack “unusually aggressive”.
Daryl tells me:
Over the years we’ve fallen victim to the typical hacker attacks from crooks looking for credit card numbers (we don?t keep credit card information online) and looking to plant viruses on Cagle.com – the things that every web site has to deal with; but the recent attacks are different, and are only intended to take us down.
I think we live in a different world now, and our site is going to be a constant target. The biggest issue for us is that the defenses are costly and time consuming for us.
That last point – it being a different world is spot on. We’ve seen cyber attacks on Sony alleged by North Korea; attacks on the Department of Defense social media accounts by Islamic State sympathizers and a declaration by the international hacker collective called “Anonymous” to target cyber attacks on websites associated with those associated with the Charlie Hebdo massacre. 2015 maybe defined by the electronic battle ground of ideas. Cagle.com, and other sites that post cartoons legally protected as free speech, may find themselves censored by cyber attacks by those trying to silence them. Here’s hoping Daryl can keep Cagle.com up permanently.