We survived our first DDoS attack over the weekend.
If you don't know what a DDoS attack is, it's basically when an asshole, group of assholes or angry robots turns a website into an early version of Healthcare.gov by flooding it with simultaneous visits/requests. Here's a semi-decent breakdown from Techopedia:
A distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) is a type of computer attack that uses a number of hosts to overwhelm a server, causing a website to experience a complete system crash. This type of denial-of-service attack is perpetrated by hackers to target large-scale, far-reaching and popular websites in an effort to disable them, either temporarily or permanently. This is often done by bombarding the targeted server with information requests, which disables the main system and prevents it from operating. This leaves the site's users unable to access the targeted website.
Since we were not prepared for the DDoS madness, it shut down TLO from about 1:00pm Friday to 4:00pm Saturday. You know, peak internet traffic hours. Thank for being competent, DDoS tools.
In all honesty, it probably shouldn't have taken over 24-hours to get the site back online, but...
a) I'm not a hosting / server / IT guy. Jesse Jane knows more about virginity than I do about that type of stuff.
b) Our soon-to-be-former-hosting-company, Site 5, was about as helpful as a box of dull nails and used condoms when dealing with the issue. They didn't offer any solutions, and when it came to fixing the problem, they showed about the same sense of urgency as Sam Presti during the NBA trade deadline. They just continued saying the site was still under attack, that they were monitoring things and that it would be back online when the attack ended. Who know when that would be.
I complained about the whole situation on Facebook and was contacted by a locally owned and operated hosting provider named Rival Host. They set us up with a DDoS protection service, told us to point something called a name server to it, and bam, within minutes TLO was back online. Thank you, Rival Host! Without your help, the site would still probably be down and the guys at Site 5 would still be monitoring things (a.k.a. surfing Reddit).
Now that we're back online and blogging, the obvious question is who targeted us. According to Rival Host, we were hit with a Level 7 attack that was clocking 77,000 requests per second from over 11,000 unique IPs, so whoever did it knew what they were doing. More than likely it was a group of anonymous and tremendously bored hackers from Russia, but it could also have been these people:
Maybe their ringleader – Sith Lord and Pirate Fiction Writer Ryan McKinley – tried to reopen an old grudge, or maybe their X-Wing pilot is still bitter that Cardboard Jim Traber defeated him in Ogle Madness IV.
This would make sense, but then again, it would require that all Street Outlaws fans go to the library to use free internet. I'm not sure fans of the show even know what a library is.