Large-scale DDoS attack shuts us down

The company that provides hosting for this blog (and many of our websites) was attacked by compromised networks of computers that flooded the host with traffic that was too voluminous to manage, thus shutting down many of the company’s customers’ websites, including Voxitatis, temporarily while the distributed denial of service (DDoS) attack was mitigated.

This means some people haven’t been able to read our stories or access our historical athletics- or performing arts-related pages. I personally apologize for this lack of access, but our hosting provider doesn’t believe any specific customer was the target of the attacks, just the hosting provider itself, which is based in Ann Arbor, Michigan.

Over the last year, networks as large as PayPal and Netflix have been attacked. Bryan Muthig, the founder and CEO of A2 Hosting wrote:

These malicious attacks are orchestrated by criminals who control large compromised networks of computers called botnets. The compromised computers are used to flood target networks with millions of requests thus overwhelming them and causing service interruptions.

A “request” in this context refers to a request from one computer to another—a request that a server do something: deliver a webpage, send an email message, or do anything that takes the CPU a finite amount of time to process.

He then stated that although typical DDoS attacks send about 1 or 2 gigabytes of data per second and are handled without anybody really noticing, this one sent around 40 gigabytes per second to the network, peaking at 120 Gbps at certain times.

“We will work with the appropriate authorities to investigate these attacks, shut down these malicious botnets, and try to bring those responsible to justice,” he said.

About the Author

Paul Katula
Paul Katula is the executive editor of the Voxitatis Research Foundation, which publishes this blog. For more information, see the About page.

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