Key elements of the country's Internet infrastructure have come under Denial of Service attack over the past three days.
The country's main Internet exchange, Netgate, suffered severe Denial of Service attacks from a US source on Friday, affecting customers of Xtra and other ISPs. And Ihug reported "loss of connectivity to random servers" late on Saturday night and then a loss of international connectivity to some of its dial-in ports in Christchurch for hours yesterday morning.
The Netgate attacks reportedly originated from the US and lasted throughout the day on Friday, with a particularly strong. ISPs using Netgate as their international gateway reported intermittent connectivity losses, and poor performance for their customers.
Chris Thompson, marketing mannger of Xtra, said that Xtra experiences these problems reasonably regularly, but that this one was particularly severe and had degraded performance throughout the day and at one point on Friday afternoon prompted a half hour outage when Telecom apparently deliberately disconnected Netgate from its US upstream provider, AboveNet.
Thompson said DoS attacks become more frequent during school holidays, although they usually go unnoticed by custromers. Ihug also suffered at least one significant DoS attack earlier during the holiday period.
Jetstream user and Xtra customer Scott Newton of Auckland software development house Quanta Systems says that he "experienced plenty of time-outs with some sites abroad" on Friday and "generally degraded performance". Another JetStream user says performance has been sporadically poor this week.
2Day.com managing director Peter Mott said that the attack meant Xtra dial-up and DSL customers could not see 2Day.com on Friday afternoon.
Access from other ISPs to Xtra's Web site was also difficult on Friday afternoon, with ping times of around 500ms and some packet loss.