Security

From Russia without love: VB gets DDoS'd

RA RA Rasputin

Above: RA RA Rasputin

Image Credit: Wikipedia

Well, this is embarrassing.

You might have noticed a little slowdown and oddness on the VentureBeat site over the past few days, mostly because we’ve been experiencing a DDoS, a distributed denial of service attack. As best we can determine, it’s coming straight from Russia, without love.

Why, we’re not sure.

Perhaps we have a warm-water port we’re not aware of.

Goodbye old server, we won't miss you.

Above: Goodbye, old server. We won’t miss you.

Image Credit: Wet Web Work

As DDoSes go, it wasn’t a massive attack, maxing out at about 18GB/s or so … but it was targeted at a single vulnerable server. Most of our site runs on WordPress VIP, and VIP was unaffected, but this one server was hosted separately. It hosted some vital services for the entire VentureBeat.com domain, and this affected many of our pages to one degree or another.

Thanks to some very quick and very savvy help from WP Engine, our technical team was able to move those services over to a protected platform very, very quickly — and in challenging circumstances, such as not being able to connect to the server that you’re trying to copy files from. So we should be all back up and running normally today.

Also on the good-news side of the ledger: No user data was at risk, and no user data was exposed during the course of the attack.

The embarrassing part?

We’re hosting a seminar with Akamai in April on “Distributed Denial of Service: War stories from the Cloud Front.” The topic, clearly, is protecting yourself from DDoS attacks that can disrupt your business, and not in the Silicon Valley-speak, good sense of the word “disrupt.” More in the sense of being completely incapacitated for two days or more while your customers grind their teeth and consider how green the grass is elsewhere.

That seminar focuses on the hyper-competitive gaming industry, where being out of service for even minutes can cause massive revenue loss, but the lessons are true for every web-based enterprise. GamesBeat lead reporter Dean Takahashi hosts it, and the speaker is Akamai’s Matt Mosher, who has a decade of experience in security and DDoS protection.

Perhaps we will learn something from our own webinar.

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