UK police: we beat attack on royal wedding website

Nov 15, 2011 By RAPHAEL G. SATTER , Associated Press

(AP) -- Scotland Yard's cybercrime unit helped fend off an attack on the official website of Britain's royal wedding in April, the division's chief said Tuesday.

Det. Supt. Charlie McMurdie told a conference that action was taken to safeguard the site, which received 15 million hits when married Kate Middleton on April 29.

McMurdie made the comments in passing at the Royal United Services Institute, a defense think tank. Asked for more information by The Associated Press, she said her unit had "been called in" to deal with an attack.

She declined to go into any further detail, but a Scotland Yard spokesman asked about the case said a 16-year-old had been detained on Oct. 10 in relation to "a suspected attempt to encourage others to commit a distributed denial-of-service attack."

Such attacks work by bombarding websites with bogus traffic in an attempt to overwhelm them.

The spokesman said the teenager is out on bail and has yet to be charged. He spoke anonymously in line with force policy.

The royal wedding was a massive Internet event, with providers saying it may have been the most heavily live-streamed event ever. Many websites, including the BBC and YouTube's royal channel, occasionally struggled to cope under the strain of the traffic.

The official royal wedding said that, at its peak, it was handling more than 2,000 requests a second.

Explore further: Digital dilemma: How will US respond to Sony hack?

More information:
Royal United Services Institute: http://www.rusi.org/

The Royal Wedding website: http://www.officialroyalwedding2011.org/

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