The Westboro Baptist Church is best known for its controversial picketing of military funerals, its anti-gay slogans and its recent contentious victory at the Supreme Court.
Needless to say the church has made a lot of enemies online, including The Jester (th3j35t3r), a ‘hacktivist’.
The Jester took it upon himself to silence the Church’s infamous God Hates Fags website on February 21st by launching a denial of service attack.
At the time of posting, the site was still down.
The DDOS Attack
Unlike the distributed denial of service attack (DDOS) we normally see, the XerXeS denial of service (DOS) only requires one machine and does not need a botnet or a group of assistants. According to the hacker, this makes the attack more focused.
What does the attack mean for hosting security in general?
Is Apache Vulnerable?
We understand that XerXeS works by using an exploit in Apache, the most common web server application in use today.
However, it’s still worth being vigilant; only the most accomplished hackers tend to find these kinds of security holes. Most hackers will simply try to hack servers on the off-chance that they haven’t been patched or updated.
So while this new type of DDOS attack is worrying, we can all stay safe from many hacking attempts simply by being vigilant and sensible.
How to Stay Secure
To be clear, there is no such thing as being ‘completely secure’, but you can do your best with the resources you have.
That means keeping server software up to date and monitoring your server constantly.
If you don’t have time to do this, it might be time to consider a switch to managed hosting so that your host’s team can do the legwork on your behalf.
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