Pastebin, a website favoured by hackers to publicly post sensitive stolen data, has been battling an ongoing distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attack aimed at disabling the site, according to its administrators.
The latest attack started on February 22, according to a Pastebin post. Pastebin said it blocked 4,000 malicious IP addresses initially. But the attack grew. Pastebin said in Twitter messages that the number of attacking computers increased to 9,000, then to 12,000, then to 17,000 and up to 20,000.
"This number is growing by the minute," Pastebin wrote. By Thursday, Pastebin said some 22,000 computers were attacking it.
"These IP's are most likely from innocent people who have no clue that their computer is being used for this purpose," Pastebin said. "It is highly recommended that you always have up-to-date antivirus software installed and a good firewall active."
The website said it plans to publish a list of the attack IP addresses so people can check to see if their computer is infected with the botnet code.
Pastebin is intended to be an easy way for programmers to share code or other large amounts of text. Hackers frequently turn to Pastebin to post data they've acquired, although Pastebin discourages people from posting logins, passwords and other sensitive data.