CatholicCulture.org was the victim of a distributed denial of service attack yesterday. A DDOS attack occurs when hackers gain control of hundreds or thousands of insecure computers around the world, and then use a master program to instruct these PCs to hit a particular website hard and fast with repeated near-simultaneous page requests. This brings the web server to its knees, making it impossible for legitimate users to access it.
Our attack occurred shortly after 6:00 pm EST on Thursday, March 29th. The server slowed down and became non-responsive by about 6:30 pm. We contacted the hosting company, and in a relatively short time they had the site back up. But they warned that if such attacks persisted, they would have to take steps to protect the rest of their network, and we would have to change our IP address and engage a third party DDOS mitigation service. These steps would, if they become necessary, also disrupt service for a short period.
Please note that a DDOS attack does not involve anyone hacking into our systems. The PCs that are hacked are typically home computers owned by users who are not computer-knowledgeable and have not attended to the security of their machines (e.g., virus and malware protection). These computers are then used to orchestrate a high demand on our server, with repeated requests to view our ordinary web pages. The result is an overload, not an intrusion.
Such is life in the fast lane!
An appeal from our founder, Dr. Jeffrey Mirus:
Dear reader: If you found the information on this page helpful in your pursuit of a better Catholic life, please support our work with a donation. Your donation will help us reach seven million Truth-seeking readers worldwide this year. Thank you!
Progress toward our August expenses ($33,944 to go):
All comments are moderated. To lighten our editing burden, only current donors are allowed to Sound Off. If you are a donor, log in to see the comment form; otherwise please support our work, and Sound Off!
Posted by: demark8616 -
Apr. 16, 2012 4:17 PM ET USA
'Cowards Anonymous' (my name for them) strikes again! They are surely looking for the biggest targets to hit, to maximize their attention seeking thrill, so Catholic Culture can take it as a compliment. Yes, keep up the good work.
Posted by: james-w-anderson8230 -
Mar. 30, 2012 8:17 PM ET USA
This is an indication that the Devil does not like the work that you are doing. Keep up the good work that you are doing.
Posted by: Cornelius -
Mar. 30, 2012 2:31 PM ET USA
Well, you've got someone's attention!