Hundreds of popular websites -- including Google, Facebook, Yahoo and Bing -- are participating in a 24-hour trial of a new Internet standard called IPv6 on June 8, prompting worries that hackers will exploit weaknesses in this emerging technology to launch attacks.
Background: Large-scale IPv6 trial set for June 8
Dubbed World IPv6 Day, the IPv6 trial runs from 8 p.m. EST on Tuesday until 7:59 p.m. EST on Wednesday.
Security experts are concerned that the 400-plus corporate, government and university websites that are participating in World IPv6 Day could be hit with distributed denial of service (DDoS) or other hacking attacks during the 24-hour trial.
"In the last five months, there has been a huge increase in DDoS attacks," says Ron Meyran, director of product marketing and security at Radware, a network device company that is not participating in World IPv6 Day. "IPv6 is going to be even easier for attackers ... because IPv6 traffic will go through your deep packet inspection systems uninspected."
Meyran says another concern is that IPv6 packet headers are four times larger than IPv4 headers. This means routers, firewalls and other network devices must process more data, which makes it easier to overwhelm them in a DDoS attack.
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