Senators Pressuring The FCC To Come Clean Over DDoS Claims

Democratic Senators Ron Wyden and Brian Schatz are pressuring the United States Federal Communications Commission to come clean regarding DDoS claims from 2014 and 2017, with recent reports from Gizmodo indicating the regulator's claims may be misrepresentative of reality. The FCC previously claimed both of its attempts at soliciting public comments on the subject of net neutrality saw it hit with distributed denial of service attacks but provided no evidence to back those claims. Senators Schatz and Wyden have now asked the agency to clarify whether any third-party entity verified its servers were hit by one or more DDoS attacks and experienced outages over those periods.

The FCC previously argued that sharing any information about the two attacks would be detrimental to its security systems but denied reports that it has no written documentation of the two episodes. The agency changed its story on the matter several times so far, having been accused of lying about any large-scale attack taking place due to the fact that Akamai, its content delivery network and one of the largest platforms of its kind on the planet, offers real-time and historical attack reports but hasn't experienced any major issues during the periods when the FCC says it suffered attacks. If Akamai was targeted by a massive DDoS effort, a significant portion of the Internet would have been down as well, security researchers previously claimed.

The two Senators also asked whether the FCC is presently working with the Government Accountability Office in order to tighten its technology security systems if its DDoS claims are correct and it truly was attacked twice with no perpetrators being identified in recent times. FCC IT Chief David Bray said former Chairman Tom Wheeler covered up the 2014 attack over concerns about attracting copycats, which the ex-official quickly denied, prompting Bray to backtrack on his comments. Senators Wyden and Schatz requested the FCC to come clean on the issue by June 27. The last alleged DDoS attack on the agency caused its website to crash, limited the amount of pro-net neutrality comments received by the regulator, and paved the way for the Title II regulations to be killed as part of a controversial move that was made official just yesterday.

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Dominik Bosnjak

Head Editor
Dominik started at AndroidHeadlines in 2016 and is the Head Editor of the site today. He’s approaching his first full decade in the media industry, with his background being primarily in technology, gaming, and entertainment. These days, his focus is more on the political side of the tech game, as well as data privacy issues, with him looking at both of those through the prism of Android. Contact him at [email protected]