This post is also available in 简体中文 and 繁體中文.
Today we mark the International Holocaust Remembrance Day. We commemorate the victims that were robbed of their possessions, stripped of their rights, deported, starved, dehumanized and murdered by the Nazis and their accomplices. During the Holocaust and in the events that led to it, the Nazis exterminated one third of the European Jewish population. Six million Jews, along with countless other members of minority and disability groups, were murdered because the Nazis believed they were inferior.
Seventy eight years later, after the liberation of the infamous Auschwitz death camp, antisemitism still burns with hatred. According to a study performed by the Campaign Against Antisemitism organization on data provided by the UK Home Office, Jews are 500% more likely to be targeted by hate crime than any other faith group per capita.
Cyberattacks targeting Holocaust educational websites
From Cloudflare’s vantage point we can point to distressing findings as well. In 2021, cyberattacks on Holocaust educational websites doubled year over year. In 2021, one out of every 100 HTTP requests sent to Holocaust educational websites behind Cloudflare was part of an attack. In 2022, the share of those cyber attacks grew again by 49% YoY. Cyberattacks represented 1.6% of all traffic to Holocaust educational websites (almost 1 out of every 50 HTTP requests), as can be seen in the chart below in 2022.
We’re representing cyberattacks as a percentage to normalize natural growth of traffic to websites, mitigation methods and other potential data biases. But even if we look at the raw numbers, between 2021 and 2022, the absolute cyberattack traffic (in HTTP requests) that targeted Holocaust education websites behind Cloudflare grew by 640% in contrast to the total growth of 397% in the number of all requests (attack and non-attack HTTP requests).
(Please note that the graph starts in 95% in order to provide better visibility into the share of attacks)
The threat that Holocaust educational websites face is one that many other non-profit organizations face. In fact, in our most recent DDoS Trends report, non-profit organizations were the sixth most targeted industry. Ten percent of all traffic to non-profit websites behind Cloudflare was DDoS attack traffic.
However, nonprofits such as Holocaust educational organizations might not always have the resources to fend off attacks. For this reason, we provide free protection to at-risk groups across the world. We do this through Project Galileo. It helps keep vulnerable websites online. It provides free cyber security services for groups working in the arts, human rights, civil society, journalism, or democracy. As detailed in our recent Impact Report, in 2022, through Project Galileo, we protected vulnerable websites from an average of 59M cyber threats every day.
If you’re representing a vulnerable public interest group and want to protect your website with Project Galileo, please follow the steps and apply here. While you wait to hear back, you can also get started with our Free plan.
At Cloudflare, we remember and never forget.
Here at Cloudflare, some of us are descendants of Holocaust survivors. My grandparents escaped Nazi-occupied Poland after the German invasion. Sadly, my grandparents — as other elderly survivors, have already passed. I grew up hearing about their stories of bravery — and of deep torment. It’s not always easy to hear these stories, but we must — especially in times like these when war in Europe has been ongoing for almost a year now. We have the responsibility to ensure the world remembers and never forgets the atrocities of the Holocaust and what antisemitism, racism and hatred in general can lead to.
To this extent, a few months ago, here at the Cloudflare London office, we had the honor of hosting Janine Webber, recipient of the British Empire Medal (BEM) in an event hosted by Judeoflare, Cloudflare's Jewish employee resource group. The event was made possible due to our partnership with the Holocaust Education Trust. And so in a fully packed auditorium and an oversubscribed Zoom call, we listen to Janine’s story of survival and bravery first hand. We asked questions and we learned.
We’re privileged to be able to share her story here with all of you via Cloudflare TV.