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The denial of service (DoS) attack initiated by The Jester (th3j35t3r) on a website operated by the Westboro Baptist Church has now exceeded two full weeks in duration.
The sustained DoS attack, which began on February 21st, represents a record for the hactivist who is best known for repeated DoS attacks on militant Jihadi websites (video), as well as an attack on the WikiLeaks website in late November that forced the organization to shuffle Internet hosting providers.
According to data from NetCraft, Westboro Baptist Church's controversial "www.godhatesfags.com" website has shown no activity for over two weeks:
The Jester has tweeted several messages regarding the attack, the last (as of the writing of this article) was on March 6th and described the attack as being a "no holds barred assault".
Another of the tweets mentions that the strategy behind the sustained attacks differs from those aimed at jihadi sites because "Some people people just need to stay down, they have no value in intel terms".
In an interview in 2010, The Jester elaborated on his anti-jihadi methodology:
"By knocking out the jihadi sites for random short periods, it causes them to be unable to rely on the site for recruitment, or co-ordination, this in turn will have the effect of drawing them out into the open and in person to do the recruiting, where the CT agencies really come into their own doing what they do best, which is intercepting and apprehending suspects".
The Jester uses a DoS tool he calls XerXeS to perform an application level attack on the targeted servers.
Where traditional TCP-based DoS attacks require multiple machines sending a large number of packets, the XerXeS attack can be performed by a single low-spec machine with relatively few packets.
On the development of XerXeS, The Jester remarked that "the aim is to create a single cohesive attack platform that will knock out with precision and no side-effects anything it comes up against, for any specified period."
How long will the WBC operation carry on? For now, the answer looks to be indefinitely.