1 November 2013, 11:30 EST

Google has just revealed the details on tree new technologies, uProxy, Digital Attack Map and Project Shield, to secure the web and to fight censorship.

This week Google launched the Project Shield, an initiative sustained by the company to protect enterprises from DDoS attack that are becoming a serious problem for Internet infrastructures. Google is working on a series of project to make the cyber space a more secure place, Google Ideas provides its Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attack mitigation technology to protect for free infrastructure online, websites who will join the program could serve their content through Google’s infrastructure without having to move their hosting location.

DDoS attacks are serious cyber threats, they are adopted by various entities in the cyberspace for different purposes, cybercriminals, state-sponsored hackers and hacktivists make large use of the powerful technique with serious consequences. The idea of Google experts is to give targeted websites the ability to defend against DDoS attacks using Google’s service PageSpeed Service designed for news, election and human rights websites, the service is by invitation only at the moment.

       

The purpose of the project is the protection of small website considered more exposed to cyber attacks, whose impairment could be used for further offensive against much larger reality. The cyberspace security cannot ignore that the security chain depends on the strength of its most vulnerable links.
The project so far has been put in place to help some small businesses that deal with sensitive issues such as a Persian blog, a Syrian website that has provided information on missile attacks or a monitoring service operations election in Kenya.

“Project Shield is an initiative to expand Google’s own Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) mitigation capabilities to protect free expression online. The service currently combines Google’s DDoS mitigation technologies and Page Speed Service to allow websites to serve their content through Google’s own infrastructure for DDoS mitigation,” the company said.

Project Shield is just one of the Google activities for the protection of sensitive sites against cyber threats like DDoS, the company also presented at the Google Ideas Summit the Digital Attack Map, a graphic representation of ongoing DDoS attacks on a global scale with a level of detail accurate.

The portal visualizes the origin country and destination of each attack, provided information on the maximum volume of traffic, class, duration and which ports are being attacked.

Digital Attack Map

The project is a joint collaboration with Arbor Networks that provides data registered by Arbor’s ATLAS monitoring system on a daily basis.

“What our ATLAS data highlights is just how commonplace DDoS attacks have become – both in terms of frequency but also in terms of how many Internet users are impacted by DDoS. It’s not just a problem for large, global organizations and service providers, but anyone with an Internet connection can be caught in the crossfire of an attack. The ‘collateral damage’ of an attack against a large organization or service provider are the people that rely on those networks every single day,” wrote in the official post Dan Holden of Arbor.

But Google has decided to surprise us with another new technology, called uProxy, that could be used to circumvent government censorship. The engine of uProxy was developed by the University of Washington and by the nonprofit corporation Brave New Software, it was supported financially by Google.

The software is based on the peer-to-peer protocol to allow users to evade the surveillance of governments like China, by the news available on the web uProxy will only be available in Chrome and Firefox, while not yet been officially announced compatibility with Microsoft’s Internet Explorer.

Be careful, Google uProxy hasn’t the ambition to be a new Tor, it will not allow you to surf anonymously and does not allow file sharing, because it has been designed just to share a free connection and avoid censorship.

Pierluigi Paganini

(Security Affairs – Google, censorship, uProxy)

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