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Jun 16, 2009
Starting at around 9:30pm on Monday, June 15th, Care2's PetitionSite has been under a DDOS (Distributed Denial of Service) attack.  This is a malicious attack intended to overload our servers and shut down our site.  If you are unable to reach thePetitionSite.com, or find Care2.com slow, the cause is this cyber attack.

We are working with our ISP, and taking a variety of measures to counteract the attack, however, the attackers have adjusted their tactics in response.

The attack is large, and appears to be from tens of thousands of computers.  DDOS attacks are usually perpetrated via viruses that have infected computers around the globe.  The perpetrators take control of the computers to send massive numbers of requests to a server, thereby overwhelming it. It is hard to fight because it is coming from so many computers, and new computers are periodically brought online to continue the attack.

We do not know who is behind the attack. Clearly, someone is threatened with the impact the PetitionSite is having.  It's possible the attack is being coordinated by a single unhappy hacker, or it's possible it's related to some of the petitions we've recently had related to international events.  It's pure speculation at this point as we simply do not know, however its size and characteristics suggest it's a well coordinated attack.

If you are unable to access Care2, please check our twitter pages (see Care2 and my twitter account) for updates on the situation. 

Thank you for your patience. We will have things back to normal as fast as we possibly can.

[update: Mon Jun 22nd: The attack is back on in force, probably 4 times the original size.  You will likely be unable to connect to the petitionsite periodically as we take measures to thwart the attack.

Obviously, someone wants thePetitionSite.com shut down.  Given the cost of the attack (estimated in the tens of thousands of dollars), it's very hard to believe this is the work of an individual.  I'm not usually one for conspiracy theories, but the cost, combined with the timing of these attacks (on the heels of a petition to free Euna Lee and Laura Ling from North Korea and various petitions related to the disputed Iranian election) raise troubling questions.]

[update: JulyVarious other sites have since been targeted, making it appear even more likely N. Korea was behind it, though we'll likely never know for sure.]

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Posted: Jun 16, 2009 10:31pm

 

 
 
Content and comments expressed here are the opinions of Care2 users and not necessarily that of Care2.com or its affiliates.

Author

Randy Paynter
, 1
Hillsborough, CA, USA
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