AT&T: Web Site Attacked Our Network

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AT&T over the weekend blocked access to a Web site that’s a notorious haven for odd — and often highly offensive — material.

However, the telco claims it wasn’t censorship: It said it shut off access to 4Chan because the site was generating a “denial of service” attack that threatened to swamp DSL customers with malicious traffic.

According to AT&T, beginning Friday, July 24, one of its Internet customers was affected by a denial-of-service attack from IP addresses connected to img.4chan.org.

“To prevent this attack from disrupting service for the impacted AT&T customer, and to prevent the attack from spreading to impact our other customers, AT&T temporarily blocked access to the IP addresses in question for our customers,” AT&T said in a statement Monday. “This action was in no way related to the content at img.4chan.org; our focus was on protecting our customers from malicious traffic.”

AT&T removed the block on 4Chan’s IP address range overnight Sunday and said it “will continue to monitor for denial-of-service activity and any malicious traffic to protect our customers.”

The U.K.’s Guardian last year called 4Chan “a message-board whose lunatic, juvenile community is at once brilliant, ridiculous and alarming.” And the New York Times said one of the site’s most popular subgroups “reads like the inside of a high-school bathroom stall, or an obscene telephone party line, or a blog with no posts and all comments filled with slang that you are too old to understand.”

Obscene or not, the site evidently caused problems for other network operators besides AT&T, including Cogent and unWired, according to BroadbandReports.com.

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