Google launched a free DDoS protection platform named Project Shield, to protect news sites and freedom of expression, with the aim of defending democratic processes.
According to information security researchers, this new platform accepts requests from organizations dedicated to news, electoral monitoring and journalists, as well as political parties.
This free program protects users from attackers who use the so-called reverse proxy, allows websites to carry legitimate and attack traffic through Google’s infrastructure to filter out harmful traffic by storing it in cache.
The impact on site traffic may vary since the performance of the website depends on different elements. Google commented that the service can be activated or deactivated as fast as any other DNS changes.
“Project Shield users see better website performance thanks to the Project Shield cache features,” Google wrote on a blog. “Some users may see performance a bit slower as traffic passes through Project Shield.”
The program could affect how some videos are displayed on the user’s site; but, those that are provided through YouTube will not be affected, commented information security professionals.
Those who care about privacy should know that the platform compiles and stores user settings and records for the traffic that is sent through Project Shield, however, Google commented that it only uses the IP address of the site reader and some information to determine if the traffic is an attack and only keep metrics and details about specific attacks.
The moment you decide to remove a site from the Project Shield platform, the information will also be removed from the Project Shield site configuration and the program will no longer compile site data.
The user only needs a Google account to access the program, it may not be notified in some cases; but you will receive an alert for large-scale attacks that require active mitigation.
“Google’s Project Shield must provide good protection,” said Andrew Lloyd, president of Corero Network Security.
The expert also commented that regardless of the motivation, DDoS attacks are the preferred tool by malicious actors who seek to compromise a website and that the market called DDoS by contract, has turned this activity into something simple, cheap and anonymous.
Still to see if Project Shield protection can successfully detect and mitigate smaller attacks, users should know that Google Shield is a free service and there is no service contract, information security experts said.
“News organizations with a subscriber base that generate revenue or have advertisers need more complete real-time DDoS protection to stay online during an incident,” Lloyd said.