Free Project Shield service forms part of Google’s new Jigsaw initiative
Google has released a new tool to help organisations cope with potentially destructive Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attacks
Project Shield is open to any business with a Google account, and looks to protect the likes of news sites and political organisations by re-routing harmful traffic through its own infrastructure in order to stop websites being overwhelmed.
Google says the service will allow “free expression” and accurate news reporting to continue unlimited, even in the face on online attacks which can knock smaller sites unable to set up major defences offline.
“Project Shield welcomes applications from websites serving news. Human rights and elections monitoring content are also welcome to apply. We do not provide the service to other types of content, including gaming, businesses or individual blogs,” the company said.
However Google will require access to user’s websites and particularly the traffic they receive so that it can establish normal volumes for the sites using an intermediate reverse proxy server that can distinguish malicious traffic from genuine visitors.
Google says it will only store the data for two weeks, after which it will be added to an aggregated pool of anonymous data for analysis about potential future attacks.
Project Shield has been developed by Jigsaw, Google’s new collective that looks at solving some of the world’s biggest issues with technology, having originally been set up in 2013 as part of a closed trial when it was known as Google Ideas.
It also includes another free service, the Digital Attack Map, which provided a live stream of all current DDoS attacks, including details on which country the attack originated in and how severe the attack appears to be.
A recent Akamai report found that the UK has become the leading originator of DDoS attacks, ahead of China and the US.
But the UK is also an increasingly popular target, after the report found that in the third quarter, the UK was the second most targeted country for web application attacks at seven percent of total attacks, with the United States (75 percent) taking top spot.
The company also found that the last quarter of 2015 saw a record 1,510 DDoS attacks, a 180 percent increase over a year ago.
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