The online attack that would wipe out the Internet for the whole of South Africa

A distributed denial of service (DDoS) attack of 200Gbps-300Gbps aimed at targets in South Africa would be enough to wipe the country off the Internet.

This is according to Vernon Fryer, group chief technology security officer at Vodacom, who was speaking about cyber warfare at the 2016 ITWeb Security Summit.

While 300Gbps sounds like a large attack, Fryer’s statement should be viewed in the context of the scale of attacks seen globally.

CloudFlare reported in March 2016 that it had seen – and mitigated – an attack that peaked at 400Gbps.

At the end of 2013, CloudFlare CEO Matthew Prince predicted that attacks that could wipe whole countries off the Internet were coming.

“We have seen attacks that are over a terabit in scale and we’re just teetering as an industry on the first significant massive DDoS Internet outage,” said Prince.

“We can fully predict that the first of these events will be happening, you can expect that in early 2014.”

In February 2014, CloudFlare faced a Network Time Protocol Reflection attack on one of its clients that exceeded 400Gbps – making it the largest DDoS ever recorded.

The attack caused Internet outages across Europe.

As the attack was happening, Prince warned that “someone’s got a big, new cannon” and the attack was the “start of ugly things to come”.

CloudFlare 400Gbps attack graph
CloudFlare 400Gbps attack traffic

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The online attack that would wipe out the Internet for the whole of South Africa