"That is something new," said Paap. "But it hasn't been confirmed or denied yet."
Not all DDoS attack services are illegal, said Nicholson.
"Some are offered as useful services to websites, to see if they can handle the load," he said.
Others fall squarely into the gray area, allowing cyber-terrorists, extortionists and digital vandals to launch attacks for a few hundred dollars each.
"Some of them are quite inexpensive and configurable," Nicholson said. "for example, you can have different attacks at different times, so that it's harder to defend against them."
To protect themselves, Nicholson recommends that companies deploy a combination of on-premises and cloud-based solutions to handle attacks of varying types and sizes.
"You need to be able to detect what's going on, that there's actually an attack," he said. "And once you detect an attack, you need to be able to mitigate it as long as possible."
According to security vendor Netcraft, service to the BBC network was restored by using the Akamai content delivery network.
Akamai declined to comment about this particular case. "As policy, the company isn't commenting on specific situations," said a spokesperson.
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