Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty (RFE/RL) has been experiencing a Distributed Denial of Service, or DDoS, attack disrupting its global multimedia news services intermittently since Thursday, the Prague-based network reports.
“We are continuing to gather information on this attack, but believe it is targeted,” said RFE/RL President and CEO Kevin Klose. “We have taken the decision to report it now in response to the needs of our audiences, who rely on RFE/RL reporting, and who themselves contend with countless obstacles to connect with us every day,” he said.
RFE/RL’s content system also supports Voice of America, Middle East Broadcasting, and the Office of Cuban Broadcasting services throughout the world. These U.S. international media networks have also been adversely affected by the attacks.
RFE/RL technical staff is working with the Computer Emergency Response Team (CERT), an international volunteer organization that tracks such electronic attacks, to block further disruption to its operations and isolate the source of the attack.
“The Broadcasting Board of Governors appreciates the technological challenges that this incident has posed, and the very professional way in which RFE/RL has addressed them in collaboration with its partner networks,” said BBG Chair Jeff Shell. “The services are all up and running, and operations on all platforms are delivering news and information to audiences around the globe.”
A DDoS attack floods the target with fake requests that come from thousands, or even millions, of computers that have been compromised or infected with viruses or malware. “It is stark evidence of the challenges that confront the free dissemination and exchange of information in this age,” said Klose.
RFE/RL experienced a more limited DDoS attack on its Belarus Language Service in 2008.