The internet is suffering the biggest cyber attack in history, according to experts.
Internet services across the world have been disrupted and crucial online infrastructure risks being jammed by the traffic congestion. The attacks are being investigated by five national cyber police forces.
The massive slowdown is the result of a dispute between an anti-spam group and a web-hosting company, and is causing disruption to millions of users of services such as Netflix, and longer than usual delays in loading websites. Banking and email systems could also be affected.
Spamhaus, a group based in London and Geneva campaigning against internet spam, added Dutch hosting company Cyberbunker to its blacklist, filtering out unwanted messages from emails. Cyberbunker states that it will host any website apart from those with terrorism or child pornography related content.
The ban has allegedly led to an unprecedented Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attack, which involves inundating a website with an unmanageable volume of traffic, slowing down access or effectively closing it down. Spamhaus servers have been hit with up to 300 billion bits per second (300Gbps) of data, making it the largest cyber attack in history.
CyberBunker's website claims that the company is "located in a secretive nuclear bunker, rebuking authorities regarding the rights of individuals". A Cyberbunker spokesperson told the BBC that he believed Spamhaus was abusing its power and should not decide "what goes and does not go on the internet".
Spamhaus CEO Steve Linford says that the attacks were "targeting every part of the internet infrastructure that they feel can be brought down."