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Alive and protected by Verisign.

If you have tried using Blinksale over the last week, you know that we have been the target of a very nasty series of attacks–what are known as DDoS (Distributed Denial of Service) attacks.

A DDoS attack is when some number of computers (usually from all over the world), organized by an attacker, flood a server or servers with “bad” requests, effectively preventing any legitimate requests (from you, our customers) from getting through. It is like going to order a pizza and having 300 people in line in front of you, but none of them ordering a thing—they’re just there to clog up the line.

Recap
Around 2:00pm CST on Monday, the DDoS attacks began. We realized we were under attack and immediately started putting extra security measures in place to filter out illegitimate traffic. The attacks subsided and things looked like they were getting back to normal. But within hours, new attacks surfaced.

The most frustrating aspect of all this, is that as soon as we plugged up one hole, another would be opened by the attackers. It’s like an uninvited game of whack-a-mole.

During this entire ordeal, we have been working with our primary hosting facility, The Planet, to bolster and reconfigure the servers, filter traffic, create blocking scripts, and do everything in our power to stop the attack.

Today
We have put in place the best and most respected DDoS protection service available. It is a service of Verisign, the company that does the routing for the entire “.com” and “.net” domain names (and many others), handling over 50% of the world’s DNS traffic.

We are confident that this external protection, along with the numerous other server-based mechanisms that have been added (to the ones that were already there) will serve to keep Blinksale running smoothly.

Thank you for your patience this week as we worked through this really crappy, frustrating series of service interruptions.

You shouldn’t have to deal with this kind of thing (nobody should). We are very sorry that it has slowed you down this week and kept you from invoicing.

If you are having any lingering issues with your account, please email us or call 214-580-2003 (weekdays, 9-5 CST). Also, my direct email address is bc @ blinksale dot com (we are checking over the weekend of course).

Brandon Cotter

6 Comments

  • On December 19, 2010, Billee D. said:

    Trust me when I say that most of your loyal customers have been behind you all the way. These kinds of attacks are seldom random and really represent the larger problem of pissed off people having way too much anger and free time for their own good.

    Glad you were able to recover well and here is to hoping it doesn’t happen again. It just plain sucks.

  • On December 19, 2010, Patrick Haney said:

    Glad you’ve got something in place to deal with this crap, I’ve never understood what the incentive in DDoS attacks were. Can’t these punks put their hacker skills to better use?

    Regardless, I’ve been able to get into Blinksale here and there over the last week, so it hasn’t been a terrible annoyance. I don’t think you’re going to lose many customers over this, especially not valuable ones.

  • On December 21, 2010, Ray Gulick said:

    You really do seem to be back 100%! Very cool!

    You guys have been good to work with over the past few years, and I really want to continue with Blinksale.

  • On December 21, 2010, Kay Krenek said:

    I didn’t invoice the week you were down, but did a couple tonight without a problem and everything loaded very quickly in Firefox. Hope it is all fixed because I just recommended your service to a friend today.

  • On January 16, 2011, Jonathan belisle said:

    I love blinksale efficiency and élégance. Very glad you managed the attack like you did.

  • On January 24, 2011, richard said:

    Welcome back!

    I noticed a few hiccups, nothing that a bit of patience and a few page reloads didn’t fix.

    I also don’t understand the mentality of people who perpetrate DDoS attacks – while they are irritating, they’re usually dealt with promptly and don’t really offer any strategic benefit if it’s the act of a competitor etc… it’s just a worthless waste of time and resources (on BOTH sides!!). Bit like terrorism really…. vicious, pointless and doesn’t do anyone any favours.

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