May 16, 2018 - Technology

Google sibling extends cyber protection to campaigns

Man affixes an "I voted" sticker.

Photo: Mark Hirsch/Getty Images

Jigsaw, the altruistic projects incubator of Google's parent company Alphabet, will offer free protection to political campaigns from cyber attacks meant to overpower websites and online services using high volumes of internet traffic, the group announced Wednesday morning.

Why it matters: Distributed denial of service attacks — essentially, attacks that force networks of thousands of hacked computers to flood a server with so much traffic it cannot properly function — are cheap and easy to pull off.

"You no longer have to be a technical person, you don't have to be a black hat hacker working on perfect code to take down a site."
— George Conrad, a product manager at Jigsaw's Project Shield, which provides the service

The background: Project Shield already offers protection to a number of other high-risk groups, including human rights groups, journalists, and those working on election infrastructure.

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