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Recent Outages Are Related to Attacks

There’s a very unpleasant reality to managing a network – attacks. There are many different types of attacks, with many of them are aimed at one goal – taking down your website, or taking control of your site. Some of our customers ask us “why”, and we really aren’t qualified experts to answer that. One explanation is that some of these attacks can be likened to vandalism crimes. But whatever the reason or motivation, the hackers exist.

At DIS/Faithwebsites, we contract with vendors that are well-regarding in our industry, and that continually work to provide a secure hosting environment, network and security protection. In addition, our own technical staff works to monitor and continually update our applications to avoid new potential security breeches – or holes in our defenses. However, sometimes all the security, updating, and diligent monitoring doesn’t withstand an attack. And that is just what happened last week in our series of intermittent outages.

Those outages were actually a blessing. I know, you weren’t one bit happy about your website – and your admin site – being down. We weren’t either. Here’s the blessing – your websites were NOT reached in our attacks last week. Our network (and all the many pieces to it) withstood the attack and did what it should — took us down to protect us. It’s far better for our network to go down to protect your site, versus your site going down because some malicious attack took it down.

Here are a few facts we think you should know:

  • Attacks have increased globally in the latter part of 2012. You can find statistics that list the increase between triple to 2000% – suffice to say that the rate of increase on the attacks is significant
  • All types of websites and organizations are targeted
  • DIS/Faithwebsites, along with all of our network and hosting vendors are continually updating and making changes to stay on top of the newest types of attacks, but similar to email spam, or viruses that target your own home computer, the attacks change to continually work at creating a hole in the walls of defense we build
  • Our network, just like every other web provider network, gets attacks regularly and 99% of the time, those attacks have not succeeded in making any gain. Our network has, and continues to, withstand the vast majority of attempts
  • Nothing was “broken” in these attacks, rather that the network shut down to protect everything
  • None of your site’s data or content was compromised during these attacks
  • And finally, sometimes a temporary outage can be a blessing!

Last week’s outages were a specific attack from China, which is fast growing to be a leading source of attacks. We were able to isolate and block that attack quickly and many of our customers did not experience a long outage duration. We have taken additional measures to try to prevent this from happening again.

Above all, please know that DIS is committed to ensuring your site remains up and protected 100% of the time, but in the face of an attack that penetrates all defenses, we would rather make your site unavailable for a short duration (creating an outage) than have your site attacked.

If you interested in understanding more, here are a few articles regarding the growing hacking and network attacks. DIS/Faithwebsites does not claim that these articles have any direct correlation to the attacks our network experienced last week, rather that these may provide additional insight into a growing situation for all organizations:

Washington drops gloves over Chinese hacking

Chinese Army Unit Is Seen as Tied to Hacking Against U.S.

State of the Internet Report

 

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