DDOS attack on domain registrar impacts ITWC sites

We would like to apologize for any difficulties you might have experienced yesterday when trying to access our Web sites.

For a few hours on Tuesday morning and briefly in the afternoon, ITWorldCanada.com and its sister sites ITBusiness.ca and ComputerDealerNews.com could only be accessed intermittently.

We’re glad to inform you that the technical problem has been resolved and that all three sites are back to normal.

Yesterday, our domain registrar Hover.com suffered a distributed denial of service (DDOS) attack at around 10:00 a.m. which flooded their support portal with traffic. Hover.com is division of Tucows Inc., a Canadian Internet pioneer and the third largest ICANN-accredited domain registrar in the world.

The Toronto-based company reported that they were able to initially block the attackers, but Hover later reported that the attack continued until the evening.

Early on, Hover.com alerted its customers that the attack could impact their sites. They warned some companies signed with Hover may be unable to load the Hover.com Web site or email server and that domain names using Hover’s forwarding DNS may also go offline.

Mat Panchalingam, director of IT and operations at IT World Canada, said that meant visitors to our site would find them extremely slow at times, or may not be able to access them at all, and that other services we offer may be affected.

“All our Web sites are intermittently up and down and our email, online registration, CRM and CMS are also being impacted,” he said yesterday.

“While we often read about DDOS attacks, they’re actually not that common,” Panchalingam said. “The chances of businesses suffering something like this are actually miniscule.”

However, he commended Hover.com on how the firm handled the situation.

“The registrar made certain that all their customers were updated continually throughout the attack as new and useful information came in,” he said. “Their mail server and web site were down, so they took to Twitter to inform us.”

By 3 p.m. yesterday, Hover reported they were still dealing with the attack.

“To mitigate the effects of the attack, we have been working with our upstream network providers to block the attackers,” one of their several updates said. “We are working as quickly as possible to fully restore all services while blocking the offending traffic.”

By 8:00 a.m. Wednesday, the company reported the problem had been resolved.

“Overnight all DDOS attacks have been stopped. All services have been running normally as of 2:00 a.m. EST,” it reported. “We are monitoring for several hours and it looks like we’re in the clear.”

The ITWorldCanada.com, ITBusiness.ca and ComputerDealerNews.com have been accessible and operating normally since late Tuesday afternoon.


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Jim Love, Chief Content Officer, IT World Canada

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Nestor E. Arellano
Nestor E. Arellano
Toronto-based journalist specializing in technology and business news. Blogs and tweets on the latest tech trends and gadgets.

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