Thursday, 29 May 2008

Revision3 targeted

On memorial day weekend, Revision3, a large Internet "tech" TV industry was a target for a Denial of Service attack.
An attack that CEO of Revision3: Jim Louderback, calls a "room full of hyperactivity screaming toddlers." he used this simile to try and best describe, just what exactly a Denial of Service attack is.

A Denial of Service attack(DoS) is when a machine, that normally receives an capable amount of SYN packets (small messages, that computers transfer as a "hi" before moving onto the large more detailed files) receives an overwhelming amount of SYN packets, therefore the system is so swamped with these SYN packets and its struggle to sift through them, that it shuts down, this is what happened to a Revision3 machine, during the attack, unfortunately taking the rest of revision3 down with it.

The Revision3 team later discovered that the server was taking way over a normal amount of SYN packets, and was actually reaching: 8,000 SYN packets, every second, which is understandably a large amount for any machine to withstand.

The image to the right shows the Revision3 server, trying to deal with the DoS attack. -->

This is all interesting and everything, but I'm guessing everyone is asking, just who exactly attacked Revision3 and why.
Well, after the Revision3 tracked the sources of these packets, they discovered the attack was aimed at their server that dealt with the BitTorrent tracker used to deal with the legal and legitimate downloads and uploads of their files.
Then after a bit of address translation, Revision3 actually discovered that it was a subsidiary site of: Artistdirect, and actually was a company called: MediaDefender. A companies who aim is:
"provide services that stop the spread of illegally traded copyrighted material over the Internet and Peer-to-Peer networks."

So their aim to shutdown what, in their eyes was a Peer-2-Peer sharing network. Revision3.
After Jim, contacted the head staff, at MediaDefender he was confronted with a mix of admittance, and backtracking. As the staff, admitted to some of the allegations yet tried to supply cover stories to reason with Jim as to why the attack actually happened.

Afterwards, Jim has come to a conclusion of:
  • "A torrential flood of SYN packets rained down on Revision3’s network over Memorial Day weekend.
  • Those packets – up to 8,000 a second – came primarily from computers controlled by MediaDefender, who is in the business of shutting down illegal torrent sites.
  • Revision3 suffered measurable harm to its business due to that flood of packets, as the attacks on our legitimate and legal Torrent Tracking server spilled over into our entire Internet infrastructure. Thus we were unable to serve videos and advertising through much of the weekend, and into Tuesday – and even our internal email servers were brought down.
  • Denial of service attacks are illegal in the US under 12 different statutes, including the Economic Espionage Act and the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act."

There is no formal statement, but i am guessing that Jim Louderback and Revision3, will be taking legal action against MediaDefender and its actions.

Me, being a large Diggnation fan, and a Revision3 viewer, i found this story somewhat upsetting, to see such a familiar site, and a fun site, the target of such an attack. But the light hearted report and the continuance of programs as per usual, is a good sight.
Welcome back Revision3

This story was based around the report given by the CEO of Revision3: Jim Louderback.
The full report of what happened, and the source of this story can be found on the:

Revision3 website

Geek it BLACK

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