NRA Websites Heavily Targeted by Memcached-Based DDoS Attacks

Haythem Elmir

Websites associated with the US National Rifle Association (NRA) have often been the targets of Memcached-based DDoS attacks, according to Qihoo 360’s Network Security Research Laboratory (Netlab).

The Chinese company, who has one of the widest views of all Internet traffic due to its leading position on the Chinese market, has published today statistics in connection to the new Memcached-based DDoS attack vector.

Top targets: Google, Amazon, PornHub, PSN, and… the NRA

Among the many stats, Netlab revealed a list of the most common targets hit by DDoS attacks carried out via vulnerable, Internet-exposed Memcached servers.

High on the lists are your usual suspects —large tech companies with a big online presence. Top targets include Chinese Internet portals and, but also US tech giants Google and Amazon.

This is no surprise, as almost any wannabe hacker believes he can somehow take down the Internet’s biggest companies without realizing he’s just throwing junk packets at services designed to absorb large amounts of traffic and then lick their fingers.

Netlab’s list also includes other regular targets of DDoS attacks that we’ve seen often attacked in recent years, such as the porn industry (PornHub, HomePornBay), the gaming industry (Play Station, Minecraft, Rockstar Games), and cyber-security companies (Avast, Kaspersky Lab, Qihoo 360).

The big surprise on this list is that among the top targets of Memcached DDoS attacks there are also three official NRA domains —,, and

NRA under intense pressure in cyberspace as well

The attacks certainly happened, albeit none appears to have caused a prolonged downtime. Running a quick Twitter search reveals a plethora of tweets from people carrying out or noticing NRA domains going down due to a DDoS attack. The biggest one appears to have taken place on February 28, when multiple users reported the website down for hours.


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