Google opens anti-DDoS Project Shield service for testing

Google has begun testing a new distributed denial of service (DDoS) protection service, codenamed Project Shield, to help fight back against this growing cyber threat facing digital businesses.

Google confirmed Project Shield is currently running on a trial basis and is open for use on an invite-only basis. “Project Shield is an initiative to expand Google’s own distributed denial of service (DDoS) mitigation capabilities to protect free expression online,” read the post.

“The service is currently invite-only. We are accepting applications from websites serving news, human rights or elections-related content.”

The service works using a variety of existing Google technologies, the firm explained: “Project Shield is a service that currently combines Google’s DDoS mitigation technologies and Page Speed Service (PSS) to allow individuals and organisations to better protect their websites by serving their content through Google’s own infrastructure, without having to move their hosting locations.”

Google said it expects Project Shield to evolve and develop throughout the testing process and confirmed it may begin charging for it come its full release. “Project Shield relies on Page Speed Service, currently offered free of charge,” read the announcement.

“Future pricing of Page Speed Service may apply to Project Shield users, but all users will be given 30-day notice. We’re hoping to offer the service to charities and non-profits at a reduced fee or at no cost in the future, but this is still under development.”

Google announced a new DDoS mapping project alongside Project Shield. The project will see the Google Ideas think-tank partner with security firm Arbor Networks to create a data visualisation service to map DDoS attacks.

The map will reportedly use anonymised data from Arbor Networks’ Atlas global threat monitoring system to build a daily update on current DDoS attack activity. Arbor Networks claims the initiative will let users spot and explore DDoS attack trends and better prepare and protect themselves.