DoS attack at the office

May 18, 2007

Unfortunately for us we dont have a full time operations team at the moment. Its me really. The engineer, the frontend web developer, and admin. Im lucky that I saw it, put two-and-two together, and stopped it.

Anywho, this script kiddie managed to actually take down our appservers because our servlet container was only set to use 512 MB of RAM! This was not my doing although it has been operating fine for almost 2 years. Anyway, when we saw the increased spike in traffic we said great, maybe Googebot has come back around to save us from our perpetual Google dance. I noticed the increase in bot activity but thought nothing of it and went home. Little did I know it wasnt Googlebot.

The next day, i.e. today, I got into work to find our leads were still down but our page views were up. Thats odd? How and why could this be happening? I knew this wasnt people traffic because Google’s Urchin Tracker wasnt registering the requests because its Javascript (bots done fire it). It had to be a malicious user. I dug through yesterday’s logs and it turned out to be some script kiddie in Australia making about 25 requests per second from one IP address. What? No DDoS? Anyway, our machines performed well after more memory was allocated but they were thrashing a little.

Page load time

CPU load

Categories: Computers, Software

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