At Home and Abroad: The Use of Denial-of-service Attacks during Elections in Nondemocratic Regime
At Home and Abroad: The Use of Denial-of-service Attacks during Elections in Nondemocratic Regimes
Philipp M. Lutscher1 , Nils B. Weidmann1 , Margaret E. Roberts2 , Mattijs Jonker3 , Alistair King4 , and Alberto Dainotti
Lutscher et al. argue that websites in nondemocratic regimes are prone to denial-of-service (DoS) attacks especially around important political events, such as elections. Because DoS attacks disable web services by flooding them with high levels of data traffic, governments employ DoS attacks to censor regime-threatening information, while activists use DoS attacks as a tool to publicly undermine the government’s authority. Lutscher et al. analyze both uses of DoS attacks by relying on DoS attack measurements based on large-scale Internet traffic data from STARDUST. The results show that in authoritarian countries, elections increase the number of DoS attacks. However, these attacks do not seem to be directed primarily against the country itself but rather against other states that serve as hosts for news websites from this country.