On Sunday, many of you noticed that you could not publish comments at this site. Others of you may’ve noticed you could not access the main page. I noticed yesterday night that instead of the normal site traffic I receive for a Sunday, that I’d received 10 times that amount and over three times the amount this site has ever received. I asked my web host whether it was possible that I’d experienced a Denial of Service attack. The security staff replied that it was a distinct possibility.
The reason I thought this possible is that my blog was mentioned in a Yediot article yesterday and credited with breaking the gag order against reporting the arrests of Ameer Makhoul and Said Omer. Yediot has many extreme right wing readers (you can likely read lots of hate in the Talkback for that article directed against me–I don’t read them myself). Also, I’ve received a slurry of hostile blog comments likely originating from readers of Yediot. Given that as many as 20,000 of the hits from yesterday may’ve happened in a short period of time, I thought it likely it could be a DOS attack.
This means that this blog has become a target of the Israeli far-right and its Diaspora supporters. It means that they perceive we can damage their political values and agenda. I also note in the Facebook group I created there are now lots of trolls including one individual who’s registered using the same IP address and four separate identities. They’re trying to game the system to their advantage. The question for me is whether this is a formal and official campaign against our work from security or government sources (Mossad, MFA, etc.) or rather a shotgun effort by the hasbara-Giyus-settler brigades.
I have put in place new defenses to protect against future attacks and will explore additional measures I can take. If anyone out there has professional experience in this field, please be in touch. I’d very much like to be able to trace forensically any future attempts to do mischief.
UPDATE: I’ve consulted with another party having some expertise in the field about the circumstances of this incident and he believes it’s possible that mentions in Haaretz and Yediot could’ve generated such a large volume of traffic. I’m doubtful since even a mention in the N.Y. Times during the Kamm case generated no more than about 100 hits if that. You just don’t know.
uncle joe mccarthy says
unless you host your own server, your host should be the one in charge security
as for your facebook page, i wasnt aware that facebook allows page owners to see the ip addys of users…
is it possible that because your site was linked to the news report that is what caused the issue of the increased traffic?
usually dos attacks show traffic at much higher rates than just 10x…it goes into the thousands
Richard Silverstein says
I don’t know what you mean by “in charge of security.” If you mean that they should be responsible for protecting my site frm DOS attacks, not sure they feel that way. They’ve been willing to take some measures, but I don’t think they want to expend enormous amts of energy on this. They mostly want me to protect my own site so they don’t have to do it for me.
This was based on info another member provided which I now believe she was prob. wrong about.
There was no link. Just the name of the blog. Though perhaps some nasty folks in the Talkbacks may’ve offered the link (I don’t know). But even w. that I’ve never gotten anywhere near 22,000 hits in a day before.
I’d guess that 20,000 hits within a minute or 2 directed at a single pg. might put a lot of stress on a server. I’m no expert but I’d guess I’m prob right.
If this was an attack, I would interpret it this way: you must be doing something right! Shin Bet is getting desperate and worried.
The IDF’s hasbara regiment is on the web and they’re trying to silence in more ways than one: propaganda spin, the anti-Semitic label, virus attacks and perhaps even DoS attacks.
Don’t give up and don’t give in, no matter what. This is too important. This injustice cannot continue.
That’s a nice way for self-aggrandizement, assuming the evil forces are afraid and sending their storm-troopers.
Or it could be some dumb and violent script-kiddies whose idea of dialog would be shouting (IRL) and attacking the site (on-line). Israeli sites suffer break-ins and defacement regularly by self-appointed “friends of Palestinian cause”.
A thug published your address and phone number in the talbacks at JPost this weekend. Please take extra care Richard.
Richard Silverstein says
Please send me the link to the article &/or comment asap.
I am always aware of the threats you face, Richard, for your mission to speak truth to power.
Thank you for your dedication to expose Israeli policies that are so harmful to the US, Israel and the Palestinians.
Wait, you’re talking about the supposed DOS attack?
If so then – exaggerating much? I don’t see much of a “threat” (site might be down for a while) by the “power” (most probably some pimpled kids running a script from their parents’ basements).
the server on which your blog is hosted usually serves hundreds or more of other blogers, so DoS attack on one affects all others, and can easily be captured by the hosts monitoring tools. however, there are varieties of DoS attacks, some of them are indirect, like DNS poisoning , redirection etc e.g. one can possibly make DNS servers to redirect richardsilverstein queries to non existing server.
drop me a note next time it happen & i’ll have a look.
i’m afraid there is nothing much to do with FB.