Date: June 18, 2015
By Dan Wooding, Founder of ASSIST Ministries and the ASSIST News Service
MIDDLE EAST (ANS – June 18, 2105)– A major website that brings news and analysis of Assyrian and Assyrian-related issues worldwide, has been the target of a massive distributed denial of service attack (DDOS) which made the site unavailable for more than one week.
The attack was made on the Assyrian International News Agency (AINA) -- www.aina.org – and was launched on June 8 and continued until Tuesday, June 16, 2015.
“The source of the attack is unknown,” said a spokesperson for the site.
A DDOS attack floods a site with hundreds of thousands of requests, which overloads the system and forces it to shut down. The attack is launched from computers which have been infected with malware, without the knowledge of their owners.
“A DDOS attack is difficult to defend against because of the very nature of the internet. A website is by definition designed to respond to requests. Any website can be brought down by such an attack,” added the spokesperson.
AINA is a major source of news about the persecution of Assyrian Christians in the Middle East.
Note: The Assyrians are indigenous to modern northern Iraq, northeast Syria, southeast Turkey and northwest Iran, an area which encompassed Assyria between the 21st century BC and 7th century AD. They are a Semitic people, with many (estimates range between 575,000 and 1,000,000) still speaking, reading and writing Akkadian influenced dialects of East Aramaic.
They are a Christian people, with most being followers of the Assyrian Church of the East, Chaldean Catholic Church, Syriac Orthodox Church, Ancient Church of the East, Assyrian Pentecostal Church and Assyrian Evangelical Church.
Photo captions: 1) Assyrian Christian refugees from Syria at a service. 2) Christian girls hold an emotional evening prayer vigil for their persecuted people. 3) Dan Wooding reporting for ANS from outside the Kurdistan Parliament in Erbil, Northern Iraq.
About the writer: Dan Wooding, 74, is an award-winning journalist who was born in Nigeria of British missionary parents, and is now living in Southern California with his wife Norma, to whom he has been married for nearly 52 years. They have two sons, Andrew and Peter, and six grandchildren who all live in the UK. He has reported for ANS from all over Northern Iraq.