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Russian Tech Giant Yandex Says It Was Targeted In Biggest Attack Ever

The logo of Russian tech giant Yandex is pictured at the company's headquarters in Moscow.

Russian tech company Yandex said a cyberattack on its servers this summer was the largest known distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attack in the history of the Internet.

In a September 9 blog post, Yandex said it had identified a powerful new botnet, a network of computers infected with malware and controlled without the owners’ knowledge, that has also carried out DDoS attacks in other countries.

A DDoS attack is a hacking attempt to disrupt the traffic of a targeted server or network by overwhelming the target with a torrent of Internet traffic.

"Our experts did manage to repel a record attack of nearly 22 million requests per second (RPS). This is the biggest known attack in the history of the Internet," Yandex said in a statement.

The attack began in August and reached a record peak on September 5.

“But this is just one of many attacks aimed not only at Yandex, but also at many other companies in the world. The attacks have been going on for several weeks, their scale is unprecedented, and their source is a new botnet about which little is known so far,” the company said.

U.S. cybersecurity firm Cloudflare, which is widely used by businesses and other organizations, said in August the largest DDoS attack it was aware of reached 17.2 million RPS earlier this year. That attack was said to be three times larger than previously known ones.