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This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.


This paper focuses on recent changes in the way Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attacks are technically administered in order to reassess their role as an activist tactic. By contextualising current forms of attacks within the history of hacktivism, it is possible to discern a shift from DDoS as short-lived event to an enduring phenomenon. The paper discusses the implications of this temporal shift, in terms of a growing reliance on DDoS protection providers and increasingly opaque traffic flows that are managed by these new intermediaries. This discussion then extends towards infrastructure studies in order to question established notions about the relationship between breakdown and visibility. The paper concludes by calling for a stronger engagement with different temporal aspects of recurring communication crises in general and DDoS attacks in particular.