Canadian Web Host Islandnet under DDoS Attack over Fathers Rights Blog
FC On Line
May 15th 2011
A Canadian Web hosting provider Islandnet (www.islandnet.com) was hit with a DDoS attack on Wednesday morning, taking the website and many of its customers' websites offline for more than 24 hours.
Islandnet.com Fathers and the Courts
Canadian web host Islandnet.com
was the victim of a Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attack.
The Victoria, British Columbia-based hosting provider alerted customers about the attack Wednesday morning on Twitter." The company's website, along with the websites of its customers, intermittently saw periods of downtime on Wednesday and part of Thursday.
Since Wednesday, Mark Morley of Islandnet has been posting updates on the company's News & Announcements section. Morley explained that the attack is "known as a UDP flood". He writes:
"Basically the attack are sending millions of bogus data packets to one of our IP addresses, clogging our network connections, which in turn makes it hard for legitimate traffic to get through.
Blocking the IP address of the sender doesn't help for long since it's spoofed, the packets can be made to look like they come from anywhere, when in fact they are coming from many different places (thus the "distributed" aspect). As well, the filtering has to be done upstream on our bandwidth provider's network.
According to Mark Morley we are working with our upstream to block the attacks as they happen, but they keep changing the spoofed address and the IP they are attacking" and Islandnet's most recent Twitter update, it appeared as though the company has not yet resolved the issue: "Still dealing with DDOS attacks and Bell is working on it - We are currently have partial services available."
Victoria-based grocery chain Thrifty Foods, fashion boutique Smoking Lily, Cangeneology, and Volunteer Victoria were among the Islandnet customers affected by the attack. Other sites affected by the DDoS attack included local business customers in Victoria, British Columbia, where the hosting site is based. Such customers affected included the Vancouver Island Firefighters Association and Bolen Books.
The Canadian Web hosting provider Islandnet also had nearly 5,000 sites going down. Founded in the early 1990s, Islandnet provides dialup and high speed Internet connections, email management, Web hosting, and other Internet tools to thousands of customers in British Columbians and around the world.
DDoS attacks recently gained worldwide media attention when Sony's PlayStation network was hit with a DDoS attack that has sent the network offline for nearly a month. Following the attack, Islandnet.com received an email from an anonymous source claiming responsibility for the crash.
Apparently the terrorist attackers they had a problem with Islandnet’s hosting of a particular website, which was a fathers rights blog attacking Judges, and Lawyers, that relate to dealing with child custody issues.They identify the target (a customer of ours) and demand that the site in question be shut down or the attacks will continue. As much as I hate to capitulate, we can't afford to stand up for the rights of one customer at the expense of all the others, so the site has been shut down, and since then they contacted us again. They thanked us and said the attacks have been halted.
Island.net net also stated; "many people are curious about the content of the customer's web site that provoked the attack. While we aren't comfortable giving out too many details at this time, I will say that it was a personal "listen to my story of unjust treatment" type of blog that contained a lot of angry attacks against the perceived offenders, including numerous court judges, lawyers, etc. I'm not taking a position on the content itself, but I can see how certain parties would take offence to it."
Part of the email isalnd.net recieved and read, “We will continue attack and increase in size if this site is not removed from your network. We will stop in 8 hours, if we see site back up we will start again. We have tons of servers to launch attacks from”. Comments like this in e-mails to island.net show that they must have a lot of cash and resources to promote such attacks and could be most likey politically movitvated because of attacks on certain judges and lawyers, some who allegedly could have hired a hacker to shut down the blog.
Islandnet complied with the request and the attacks ceased. Despite returning to service, the small hosting company has enlisted RCMP law enforcement to further investigate the attacks. While DDoS attacks can occur against any webhost the explanation provided by Islandnet owner Mark Morley on the company blog raises many more questions than it answers.