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Linode suffers massive service outage that began December 25

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January 4, 2016

Linux systems infrastructure provider Linode said this morning that its long service outage has come to an end, although its most-current message says there may still be some intermittent issues for some users mostly out of its Atlanta facility.

The current status of all services is listed as operational, except for Atlanta which still shows as partial outage, Linode added.

The company has been the target of a heavy and sustained distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attack that began on Christmas Day and had been relentless ever since.

Under a lot criticism for its initial silence about the problem, on New Year's Eve the company offered this extensive post from a network engineer, Alex Forster. In it, Forster details just how many of the company's systems were under attack. There were:

  • High-volume attacks on its DNS infrastructure;
  • The same against all of our public-facing Websites;
  • 400 bad request attacks on the same Websites;
  • DDoS against Linode's colocation provider overwhelming routers;
  • The same against Linode's own network infrastructure.
  • Forster added that there had been 30 significant attacks, and each time the company closed a vector, the attackers then switched to other vectors.

    Promising a more detailed technical explanation once the attacks stop, Forster said-- “We would like to apologize for the lack of detail in some of our recent status-page updates. Please know that we are dedicating all our resources from multiple departments in stopping these attacks.”

    As Linode's status page states, the company has had to send many regions in the world to /dev/null (so to speak) to keep its systems alive-- “For the short term, we will be using BGP communities to attempt to block Asia Pacific, the Middle East, South America and others, hopefully leaving us only with traffic from North America and Western Europe.”

    “Blocking geographic regions in this manner is the only way to make sure that large botnets won't be able to launch further attacks,” the company added.

    With Linode's Atlanta region more-or-less sorted out, there was another brief attack on its DNS, from 21:01 UTC yesterday to just after midnight.

    Source: Linode.

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