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BlogPanoramica sul cloudI dodici giorni di crisi: retrospettiva sugli attacchi DDoS delle vacanze di Linode

I dodici giorni di crisi - Retrospettiva sugli attacchi DDoS di Linode durante le vacanze

Nei dodici giorni tra il 25 dicembre e il 5 gennaio, Linode ha subito più di cento attacchi denial-of-service contro ogni parte importante della nostra infrastruttura, alcuni dei quali hanno interrotto gravemente il servizio per centinaia di migliaia di clienti Linode. Vorrei dare seguito al mio precedente aggiornamento, fornendo qualche informazione in più su come siamo stati attaccati e su ciò che stiamo facendo per evitare che si ripeta.

In sostanza, l'attaccante ha risalito la nostra pila più o meno in questo ordine:

  • Attacchi di livello 7 ("400 Bad Request") verso i nostri siti web pubblici
  • Attacchi volumetrici verso i nostri siti web, i server di nomi autorevoli e altri servizi pubblici
  • Attacchi volumetrici all'infrastruttura di rete Linode
  • Attacchi volumetrici verso l'infrastruttura di rete del nostro provider di colocation

La maggior parte degli attacchi erano semplici attacchi volumetrici. Un attacco volumetrico è il tipo più comune di attacco DDoS ( Distributed Denial of Service ) in cui un cannone di traffico spazzatura viene diretto verso un indirizzo IP, cancellando da Internet la vittima designata. È l'equivalente virtuale di un blocco del traffico causato intenzionalmente da una flotta di auto a noleggio e la pervasività di questo tipo di attacchi ha causato centinaia di miliardi di dollari di perdite economiche a livello globale.

In genere, Linode vede diverse decine di attacchi volumetrici rivolti ai nostri clienti ogni giorno. Tuttavia, questi attacchi non colpiscono quasi mai la rete Linode in generale, grazie a uno strumento che utilizziamo per proteggerci, chiamato blackholing attivato da remoto. Quando un indirizzo IP viene "oscurato", Internet accetta collettivamente di eliminare tutto il traffico destinato a quell'indirizzo IP, impedendo al traffico buono e cattivo di raggiungerlo. Per le reti di contenuti come Linode, che hanno centinaia di migliaia di IP, il blackholing è un'arma spuntata ma cruciale nel nostro arsenale, che ci dà la possibilità di "tagliare un dito per salvare la mano", cioè di sacrificare il cliente che viene attaccato per mantenere gli altri online.

Il blackholing non è un attenuante efficace in una circostanza ovvia ma importante: quando l'IP preso di mira, ad esempio un'infrastruttura critica, non può andare offline senza trascinare con sé gli altri. Gli esempi che di solito vengono in mente sono i "server dei server", come gli endpoint di API o i server DNS, che costituiscono la base di altre infrastrutture. Sebbene molti degli attacchi siano stati sferrati contro i nostri "server di server", quelli più difficili da mitigare si sono rivelati gli attacchi diretti alla nostra infrastruttura di rete e a quella dei nostri fornitori di colocation.

Indirizzi secondari

Gli attacchi sferrati contro la nostra infrastruttura di rete erano relativamente semplici, ma la loro mitigazione non lo era. Come artefatto della storia, segmentiamo i clienti in singole sottoreti /24, il che significa che i nostri router devono avere un indirizzo IP "secondario" all'interno di ciascuna di queste sottoreti, che i clienti possono utilizzare come gateway di rete.

Con il passare del tempo, i nostri router hanno accumulato centinaia di indirizzi secondari, ognuno dei quali è un potenziale bersaglio di attacchi. Naturalmente, questa non è stata la prima volta che i nostri router sono stati attaccati direttamente. In genere, si adottano misure speciali per inviare annunci di blackhole ai nostri upstream senza blackholing nel nostro core, bloccando l'attacco e consentendo al traffico dei clienti di passare come al solito. Tuttavia, non eravamo preparati allo scenario in cui qualcuno attaccava rapidamente e imprevedibilmente molte decine di IP secondari diversi sui nostri router. Questo per un paio di motivi. In primo luogo, la mitigazione degli attacchi alle apparecchiature di rete richiedeva l'intervento manuale dei tecnici di rete, che era lento e soggetto a errori. In secondo luogo, i nostri fornitori a monte potevano accettare solo un numero limitato di annunci blackhole per limitare il potenziale di danno in caso di errore.

Dopo diversi giorni di gioco al gatto e al topo con l'aggressore, siamo stati in grado di lavorare con i nostri fornitori di colocation per oscurare tutti i nostri indirizzi secondari o per far cadere il traffico ai margini delle reti dei loro fornitori di transito, dove l'oscuramento non era possibile.

Collegamenti incrociati

Gli attacchi ai nostri fornitori di colocation erano altrettanto semplici, ma ancora più difficili da mitigare. Una volta che i nostri router non potevano più essere attaccati direttamente, i nostri partner di colocation e i loro fornitori di transito sono diventati il prossimo obiettivo logico, in particolare le loro connessioni incrociate. Una cross-connect può essere generalmente considerata come il collegamento fisico tra due router su Internet. Ogni lato di questo collegamento fisico ha bisogno di un indirizzo IP affinché i due router possano comunicare tra loro, e sono stati proprio questi indirizzi IP a essere presi di mira.

Come nel caso della nostra infrastruttura, questo metodo di attacco non era di per sé nuovo. Ciò che ha reso questo metodo così efficace è stata la rapidità e l'imprevedibilità degli attacchi. In molti dei nostri data center sono stati attaccati decine di IP diversi all'interno delle reti a monte, il che ha richiesto un livello di attenzione e coordinamento tra i nostri partner di colocazione e i loro fornitori di transito difficile da mantenere. La nostra interruzione più lunga - oltre 30 ore ad Atlanta - può essere direttamente attribuita a frequenti interruzioni della comunicazione tra il personale Linode e persone che a volte erano a quattro gradi di distanza da noi. Alla fine siamo riusciti a chiudere completamente questo vettore di attacco dopo che alcuni ostinati fornitori di servizi di transito hanno finalmente riconosciuto che la loro infrastruttura era sotto attacco e hanno messo in atto con successo le misure per fermare gli attacchi.

Lezioni apprese

A livello personale, ci vergogniamo che una cosa del genere sia potuta accadere e abbiamo imparato una dura lezione da questa esperienza.

Prima lezione: non dipendere dagli intermediari Con il senno di poi, riteniamo che le interruzioni più lunghe si sarebbero potute evitare se non avessimo fatto affidamento sui nostri partner di colocation per il transito IP. Ci sono due ragioni specifiche per questo: In primo luogo, in diversi casi siamo stati indotti a credere che i nostri fornitori di colocation avessero semplicemente una capacità di transito IP superiore a quella reale. Diverse volte, la quantità di traffico di attacco diretto verso Linode è stata così grande che i nostri fornitori di colocation non hanno avuto altra scelta se non quella di de-peerare temporaneamente con la rete Linode fino alla fine degli attacchi. In secondo luogo, la mitigazione di alcuni attacchi più complessi ha richiesto il coinvolgimento diretto di ingegneri di rete senior di diversi fornitori di livello 1. Alle 4 del mattino di un fine settimana festivo, i nostri partner di colocazione sono diventati un'ulteriore e inutile barriera tra noi e le persone che potevano risolvere i nostri problemi.

Seconda lezione: assorbire gli attacchi più grandi La strategia di gestione della capacità di Linode per il transito IP è stata semplice: quando il nostro picco di utilizzo giornaliero inizia ad avvicinarsi al 50% della nostra capacità complessiva, allora è il momento di ottenere più collegamenti. Questa strategia è standard per le reti carrier, ma ora capiamo che è inadeguata per le reti di contenuti come la nostra. Per dare un'idea concreta, le nostre reti di datacenter più piccole hanno una capacità di transito IP totale di 40 Gbps. A molti di voi sembrerà una capacità elevata, ma nel contesto di un DDoS da 80 Gbps che non può essere bloccato, avere solo 20 Gbps di headroom ci lascia con una perdita di pacchetti paralizzante per tutta la durata dell'attacco.

Terza lezione: far sapere ai clienti cosa sta succedendo È importante riconoscere quando si fallisce, e la nostra mancanza di comunicazione dettagliata durante i primi giorni dell'attacco è stata un grande fallimento. Fornire aggiornamenti tecnici dettagliati in un momento di crisi può essere fatto solo da chi ha una conoscenza dettagliata dello stato attuale delle cose. Di solito, queste persone sono anche quelle che stanno combattendo il fuoco. Dopo che le cose si sono calmate e abbiamo riesaminato le nostre comunicazioni pubbliche, siamo giunti alla conclusione che la paura di formulare qualcosa di sbagliato e di causare un panico eccessivo ci ha portato a parlare in modo più ambiguo di quanto avremmo dovuto nei nostri aggiornamenti di stato. È stato un errore e d'ora in poi un responsabile tecnico designato sarà incaricato di comunicare in modo dettagliato durante eventi importanti come questo. Inoltre, la nostra pagina di stato consente ora ai clienti di essere avvisati dei problemi di servizio via e-mail e SMS tramite il link "Iscriviti agli aggiornamenti".

Il nostro futuro è più luminoso del nostro passato

Tenendo a mente queste lezioni, vorremmo farvi sapere come le stiamo mettendo in pratica. Innanzitutto, la parte più semplice: abbiamo attenuato la minaccia di attacchi contro i nostri server pubblici implementando la mitigazione DDoS. I nostri server di nomi sono ora protetti da Cloudflare e i nostri siti web sono ora protetti da potenti dispositivi commerciali di scrubbing del traffico. Inoltre, ci siamo assicurati che le tecniche di mitigazione di emergenza messe in atto durante gli attacchi delle vacanze siano diventate permanenti.

Di per sé, queste misure ci permettono di essere sicuri che i tipi di attacchi che si sono verificati durante le feste non possano ripetersi. Tuttavia, dobbiamo fare di più. Per questo motivo oggi sono entusiasta di annunciare che Linode rivedrà l'intera strategia di connettività dei nostri datacenter, con un backhaul di 200 gigabit di transito e capacità di peering dai principali punti di presenza regionali in ciascuna delle nostre sedi.

Ecco una panoramica dei prossimi miglioramenti dell'infrastruttura del nostro datacenter di Newark, che sarà il primo a ricevere questi aggiornamenti di capacità.

La punta di diamante di questa architettura sono le reti di trasporto ottico che abbiamo già iniziato a costruire. Queste reti forniranno percorsi completamente diversificati verso alcuni dei PoP più importanti della regione, dando a Linode l'accesso a centinaia di opzioni di carrier diversi e a migliaia di partner di peering diretti. Rispetto alla nostra architettura esistente, i vantaggi di questo aggiornamento sono evidenti. Prenderemo il controllo della nostra intera infrastruttura, fino al limite di Internet. Ciò significa che, invece di dipendere da intermediari per il transito IP, saremo in partnership diretta con i carrier da cui dipendiamo per il servizio.

Inoltre, Linode quintuplicherà la quantità di larghezza di banda attualmente disponibile, permettendoci di assorbire attacchi DDoS estremamente grandi fino a quando non saranno adeguatamente mitigati. Quando le dimensioni degli attacchi cresceranno in futuro, questa architettura scalerà rapidamente per soddisfare le loro richieste senza alcun nuovo investimento di capitale.

Parole finali

Infine, sono doverose delle scuse sincere. Come azienda che ospita infrastrutture critiche per i nostri clienti, ci viene affidata la responsabilità di mantenerle online. Ci auguriamo che la trasparenza e la lungimiranza di questo post possano riconquistare parte di questa fiducia. Vorremmo anche ringraziarvi per le vostre gentili parole di comprensione e sostegno. Molti di noi hanno avuto le vacanze rovinate da questi attacchi implacabili, ed è una cosa difficile da spiegare ai propri cari. Il sostegno della comunità è stato davvero utile. Vi invitiamo a postare le vostre domande o i vostri commenti qui sotto.


Commenti (67)

  1. Author Photo

    Thanks for your great work. My VPS was running well during these days.

  2. Author Photo

    Good postmortem analysis – thanks for being candid.

  3. Author Photo

    Thanks for being honest and forthcoming about this and the issues you addressed-both on the technical and PR sides-as well as the steps you are taking to better your company.

    Kimo.

  4. Author Photo

    You people are awesome and have great stamina. We are satisfied customer from Pakistan.

  5. Author Photo

    I’ll never stop buying linodes!!

  6. Author Photo

    You guys are are rock stars in my book, and I appreciate the transparency. More tech companies need to live and breath that these days, or else find themselves losing the game to cheaper competitors.

    While I haven’t been a fan of how some past incidents were handled, I still give Linode a 5-star rating. Good job!

  7. Author Photo

    Things happen. Those of us who network or sysadmin know that when youre fighting fires and figuring out what is going on and fielding calls from angry clients the last thing you have time for is updating everyone. Hell…you may not even know what all is going on for a couple days or more with huge attacks.

    This is a good postmortem and your ability to learn and adapt and invest in your own infrastructure is why I love and continue to be a Linode fanatic.

    Keep it up you guys. Sorry Christmas was such a bummer.

  8. Author Photo

    May the Network be with you!

  9. Author Photo

    Can’t thank the Linode team enough for your dedication. The livelyhood of thousands rest in your hands, I feel like this whole event further proves how well qualified you guys are to be doing what you’re doing.

  10. Author Photo

    The only part of this that really bothers me is the idea that if I get a DDOS, Linode is just going to blackhole me, and me alone. Doesn’t that mean that I have to give in to ransom demands from attackers?

  11. Author Photo

    I really appreciate this. We were waiting for this to take the decision if we will stay in linode or move away, and we are staying.

    I strongly agree that being more transparent would have helped a LOT.

    I’d like to know, though, when is scheduled the above change in the rest of the datacenters. I’m not using newark right now and would like to know when my datacenter will have it : )

    Thanks a lot,
    Rodrigo

  12. Author Photo

    @Mogden – for people who are attacked regularly, we suggest Cloudflare or others in the DDoS protection market. I’m not sure what the future holds on this subject, but rest assured that it really bothers us too.

  13. Author Photo

    Thanks for the update. Any time frame for other datacenters to be updated? My linodes are in Atlanta and we suffered almost three days of downtime.

    Cheers

  14. Author Photo

    We had 2 linodes, one of them in Atlanta datacenter. We have not experience any issues during holidays, but I was worried though. Thanks for the explanation and amazing work. Honestly hope your family can understand the situation.

    Amazing company!

  15. Author Photo

    Like Rodrigo, this is a huge thing to us. I was honestly feeling that it was going the usual corporate way with silence and deniability, just waiting for the furore to die down. It really makes a difference to hear not only the details of the response/mitigation activities, which we appreciate, but also acknowledgement of the position we were put into when communication was sparse.

    It goes a long way.

    Thanks again.

    Mark.

  16. Author Photo
    Stefan Winer @ CloudFlare

    Great to hear we could help you get protected.

    swiner@cloudflare.com

  17. Author Photo

    @mogden – if your the one being ddos’d then you deserve to be blackholed. I dont pay for my linodes for you to be targetted with a ddos and mine linodes taken down!!

  18. Author Photo

    Thank you for the analysis and a break down of what took place, and most importantly, thank you for being honest with customers!

    Cheers!

  19. Author Photo

    I’m obviously a huge fan of Linode, but I wonder if this attack will force them to re-evaluate their “3 strikes” policy towards hosted sites which come under DDoS attack. As this attack should have taught them, it’s indiscriminate, and there’s not a whole lot a small website owner can do to mitigate it. We rely on Linode to be able to deal with this, and punishing the victim is hardly a fair solution.

  20. Author Photo

    And attacks started minutes after posting updates. http://status.linode.com/incidents/mkcgnmjmnnln

    I’ve a message for Linode especially Chris, please invest more and more on infrastructure if you want to stay in the game otherwise, you’ll be overtaken by heavily funded startups in this domain. We know you have innovative mind and excellent technology but this alone is not sufficient for you to win in this domain. I like performance and flexibility of Linode but moved to DO just because I needed to setup my stuff at Japan and Singapore data-centers and Japan DC is sold out. 3 out of 6 locations are sold out and you are not yet expanding? How will you compete?

    Come out of your box and look at your neighbors. It was painful to move to Digital Ocean for me but I had to take this decision. I am still using Linode for some of my stuff will continue using it until I need redundancy or you expand.

  21. Author Photo

    There’s nothing that I love more than the amount of technical detail that you provide to us on these cases, and even with some minor updates.

    I love being a Linode customer, no DDoS will get that away from me 😀

  22. Author Photo

    Thanks for this post, Alex. This was a rough period for everyone involved and affected but I am extremely impressed by Linode making the effort to hopefully prevent the same scenario from happening again.

    There were many lessons to be learned from this – both for Linode and for customers.

    Linode appears to have realized what they needed to do and that is fantastic. Instead of saying sh*t happens and going about business as usual you are actively working to make sure it doesn’t happen again. Well done.

    We (customers) need to cover our own bases too. For anything critical or even slightly important you need to have a plan in place in the event of a Linode outage (regardless of the reason).

    I have now split some of my services and are far better placed to recover quickly in the event something like this were to happen again. Linode had always been so reliable that I got complacent. Lesson definitely learned.

    In my case my costs have now increased as I am now paying other providers in addition to what I have and will continue to pay Linode, but the ability to keep some important services online is worth it.

    Thank you to everyone at Linode for your hard work and for looking out for your customers.

  23. Author Photo

    Some of our big clients suffered with the downtime on those days but, with several VPS and more online each day, we never accepted any offer from others players. This kind of behaviour make us confident with the team and give us peace of mind that we’re in good hands.

    Thank you for the update and respect with your customers.

    Hostcare Internet

  24. Author Photo

    Thank you for being open, good luck with your new defences and I hope that you catch up on your family time!

  25. Author Photo

    Linode user here. Thanks for the transparency. I wasn’t directly affected but I appreciate the openness on the issue. It’s a welcome change to most companies now. I plan to keep using Linode just because of how cool you all handled the situation. Keep up the good work!

  26. Author Photo

    Cloudflare will probably help with your DDoS but they aren’t infallible as any other vendor.. But what happens when they get hit really hard themselves? I’d recommend getting a second DNS provider.

    See Also: https://blog.thousandeyes.com/ultradns-ddos-affects-major-web-services/
    https://blog.thousandeyes.com/ultradns-outage-october-2015/

  27. Author Photo

    I was beginning to wonder if such a note would arrive. The explanation is useful and I’m feeling as though things are safer than before.

  28. Author Photo

    Thank you for being transparent about what happened. That was a truly hellish attack. Getting slammed with a sophisticated and highly targeted 80 Gbit DDoS is stressful for any network admin and I’m glad that Linode succeeded in weathering the storm.

  29. Author Photo

    I am really impressed with way you have handled this whole situation, your company’s honesty and explanation is more than anyone could have expected. I’m sure there were many hours invested, not only in locating and fixing the problem on top of adding the double protection; but even in your letter to your customers. I hope all your customers are as loyal to your company as you have been with them. Way to step up your game, keep up the good work. Wishes for much more success……

  30. Author Photo

    Thank you very much for the detailed breakdown of what went wrong and what you plan to do to prevent this in the future. I have to say though, technical reasons and justifications aside, Linode has a lot to learn in regards to communication. I know you acknowledge that in your blog post but for many people (myself included) it’s too little way too late. It’s taken you 30 days to write a blog post that could’ve been written in hours. For 30 days people have been sitting on the fence wondering exactly what you guys are doing and whether or not they should jump ship. For many people (myself included), the absence of this response and the overall feeling that it has been so long since you said you were going to provide an update, that honestly you were just going to push this to the side and hope it went away, has directly contributed to Linode losing a significant amount of business from us.

    I don’t want my response to turn into some Linode bashing post, but I want you to be aware that your failure to provide sufficient information and responses is the biggest problem here – for me, at least. It hit your reputation hard and caused us to lose a significant amount of trust in your company and services. DDoS attacks happen, and we know you guys were working extremely hard to deal with those. You reminded us often enough in your status updates. What we really wanted to know was that the worst was over and that you identified your weaknesses and were addressing those. The longer we had to wait for this information, the less trust we had/have in you.

    I’d like to end this on a more positive note. All of the above said, your services are fantastic overall and I’d love to come back to Linode in the future, once you’ve performed all of the changes you have mentioned here. Just please, improve on your communications!

  31. Author Photo
    Saint Aardvark the Carpeted

    Long-time Linode customer…I wasn’t affected by the outage, but I’m really glad you’ve taken the time to write up what happened. Thanks for being transparent and generally awesome.

  32. Author Photo

    Alex, this caught my attention: “… requiring a level of focus and coordination between our colocation partners and their transit providers which was difficult to maintain.”

    How did you structure this communication? What tools / technologies did you use or tried to use?

  33. Author Photo

    This is a nicely put article. I only have amazing things to say about Linode and its staff. Awesome post!

  34. Author Photo

    As a long time customer and a fellow network administrator I just wanted to say that I do really appreciate all your hard work. Respect.

  35. Author Photo

    Sounds an exciting project Alex, good luck!

    Any news on continued security farces at Linode? and ‘The Best Practices not invented here’ approach.. For example to reset 2FA

    Should you need us to disable your Two-Factor Authentication, the following information is required:

    An image of the front and back of the payment card on file, which clearly shows both the last 6 digits and owner of the card.
    An image of the front and back of the matching government-issued photo ID.

    A) Photoshop CC in 2 mins, you have no idea what my CC should look like.
    B) You can’t verify government ID so say 5 minute photoshop.

    Woohoo for 2FA, known as 2 f… alls

  36. Author Photo

    Thanks for the update, and letting us know that things will be better handled in the future. Both technically and on the communication front.

    Any idea who attacked and why?

  37. Author Photo

    Linode – you are the best. Thanks for your service.

  38. Author Photo

    Thanks for the update. As a long time linode customer, it is appreciated.

    For you guys complaining about being kicked out in case of a DDoS, I recommend getting DDoS protection for your linodes. There are a lot of cheap options right there that can be integrated easily.

    Some one recommended CloudFlare and they are great. You can also look at Sucuri:

    http://sucuri.net/website-firewall/

    Or Incapsula:

    https://incapsula.com

    Both great products and solutions. Stay safe!

  39. Author Photo

    200g? this years ddos was 800gbps…

  40. Author Photo

    good postmortem. now can you explain what happened with the “leaked” credentials and the fact that we had to reset the passwords.
    thank you

  41. Author Photo

    These attacks could happen to anyone and any provider. Keep up the good work!

  42. Author Photo

    Great article and the right way to handle these kinds of problems. Transparency and constructive retros are the way to go.

  43. Author Photo

    I think you did great job considering the size of the attack. That’s why continue to use Linode for my virtual machines. Thank you for your support and keep up the good work.

  44. Author Photo

    Thank you for the clear and concise explanation. I look forward to you rolling out your upgrades and continue to be a happy customer with Linode.

  45. Author Photo

    Cisco routers, seriously?

    Juniper high end routers take a gigantic steaming dump all over Cisco.

  46. Author Photo

    @Jake that’s essentially what ASRs are 😉

  47. Author Photo

    If you want to do it on the cheap side and be safe, get some cheaper / best equipment from huawei (give them a call). You might think the Chinese cannot be better than Cisco, but Cisco is now also made in China. Also I’m sorry, but you need some Ddos protection (expensive). You cannot just nullroute your costumers… you have to protect them. If the cheap OVH company can do it, why can’t you…

    Looks like you guys need to hire someone with real experience in network engineering (worked at ISP level), not just some cheap undergraduate out of university.

    You need to rely more on anycast, have reserved capacity, etc.

    After reading this, I would not host my sites on linode. You guys look amateur (sorry).

  48. Author Photo

    I appreciate this honest insight, but I’ve moved back to a local server since these attacks made access to my Linode difficult or impossible, and always-on, always-accessible was my main reason for moving to Linode in the first place. Sorry, and better luck in the future.

  49. Author Photo
    Patrick Burroughs (Celti)

    I like the transparency, even delayed. I like that you’re taking steps. I DON’T like that your “security appliances” block ALL ICMP packets including the “Packet Too Big” messages required for path MTU discovery and breaking my ability to access the Manager over my VPN.

  50. Author Photo

    Buying blended internet direct from your colo provider is a bad idea (as it seems you have learned the hardway)

    You should be getting your transit direct from diverse carriers… this is networking 101

  51. Author Photo

    Love the armchair quarterbacks giving their input. Now, for you QBs, where is your massive company you are running and making decisions and learning lessons from? Oh you don’t have one and you don’t work for one? Sit back and let Linode do their job, they are by far the best provider out there. The cost of this type of infrastructure is gigantic and you wanna-be QBs have no idea what it takes to run a business.

    Great job Linode. I know I’ve made the right choice by using you.

  52. Author Photo

    Excellent. I knew you guys were “on it”. I really appreciate the detail you provided.

  53. Author Photo

    Thank you for releasing this honest and detailed report

  54. Author Photo

    Regarding CloudFlare, did you shop around for any other DNS DDOS protection services? The reason I ask is because CloudFlare happily caches too many dodgy websites. Some sources that may be of interest:
    http://news.netcraft.com/archives/2015/10/12/certificate-authorities-issue-hundreds-of-deceptive-ssl-certificates-to-fraudsters.html (large number of phishing certificates issued by CloudFlare)
    http://www.crimeflare.com (non-profit that investigates CloudFlare and its customers)

  55. Author Photo

    I appreciate the update, but i find a bit late too.
    Also i don’t really get why Mr. Forster signing this post?
    And don’t get me wrong, i have nothing against him, i don’t doubt his intentions or knowledge.
    But i expected a statement from someone from the top of the food chain . This was also one of my main problems when the events happened, its like nobody cares from the top management, until one of the engineers realized that they can’t be silent anymore.
    I still have that feeling, and is pretty alarming .

  56. Author Photo

    It’s time to move to IPv6-only internet. Attacking a single address will become impractical if a host can have millions of them changed automatically in an unpredictable way.

  57. Author Photo

    Appreciate the info.

    It is a minor point, I know, but status.linode.com should either be un-available over https, or have its own cert.

    try this in chrome…

    https://status.linode.com

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    Thanks Linode Team for acknowledging your challenges, and courageously taking adaptive actions 🙂

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    Great job! Didn’t know such a story ongoing since my site was on all the time. Really appreciate all the hard work of LINODE support team!

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    Thank you for the very interesting update. Best of luck for the future.

    I’m also quite curious on who could benefit from such attacks in the first place.

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    I am using Cloud Flare to protect the blog from DDOS attack, is there any other best application available to replace cloudflare? Is there a way to stop the DDOS or brute force attack for wordpress sites?

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    Great write up & good to see such honesty and transparency. I think it is important for readers of this to understand that DDoS attacks can affect anyone at any time on any host. Obviously when you are on the receiving end of a nullroute it is not nice, but It’s important to note though that providers do not want for you to have downtime, but if a DDoS directed at you is affecting other customers and you don’t have some form of mitigation, there is seldom any other option than to take this action. As they said, ‘cut off a finger to save the hand’. I’m quite sure that if someone else is being DDoS’d that you would prefer to see them nullrouted than have your own service impacted, so that has to work both ways in my eyes.

    It’s important to look at the issue objectively – DDoS attacks are not going to go away and really if you have concerns around protection then this does mean paying for a mitigation service, especially if outages will be more costly than the monthly sub.

    @Srinivas – You’ll need a CloudFlare business plan for DDoS attack mitigation. Simply being behind CloudFlare on a free plan won’t give you this protection, and there isn’t another service that I am aware of that provides free DDoS protection without at least having some other paid service. Keep in mind that CloudFlare isn’t an application, but rather a service which is totally separate from your Wordpress sites. If you want to run something locally to stop a brute force attack then have a look at a plugin such as Wordfence, which is very effective. Another good plugin is iQ Block Country which uses GeoLocation – you can lock down your back end to whitelisted countries only. Plugins are not infallible, but they definitely add extra security. Another good way to stop brute force attacks is by not using obvious account names for the administration area of your site…lots of tools will try to brute force on usernames like ‘admin’ – as with any security approach, it’s all about the layers!

    As a final note, I do always find it interesting when posts like this attract the critics who dish out ‘advice’ about how X and Y should have already been done, or that they are amateur, etc. I would like to know which fairytale jobs they have at companies that have everything 100% perfect with 100% uptime and 0% chance of outages or attacks…

    Fair play Linode, tip of the cap.

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    Thank you for your honesty and transparency. Very very good post. Thank you for your hard work during the attacks even on holidays. Keep pushing Linode Team!

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    yeah thank you also for your transparency. I remember what happened, evthg gave tears and I think, as many people, we planned to move to another company. Even some days ago, I compared with AWS, reading their doc for RDS, EC2, ELB, S3 etc, but Linode, even with much less available options and possibilities if we compare to amazon, Linode stay for us a better company, with a great support and reactive, providing faster and cheaper solutions.

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    I started with Linode 4 years ago, I loved the service and I am not going to go away from you guys. I know how painful firefighting could be, thanks to your team for working so hard. And please do everything that could prevent this from repeating.

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    Hello,
    on the article you said following

    “our nameservers are now protected by Cloudflare, and our websites are now protected by powerful commercial traffic scrubbing appliances.”

    but seems it is not anymore. did you moved away from cloudflare protection? if yes then why? many hosting giants now rely on cloudflare protection.

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    Thank you for this update and the recent additional high memory and $5 options.

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