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January 25, 2003

No mail: Unusually, the ISP that Teresa and I get our mail through, the normally-reliable Panix, seems to be having some kind of indeterminate difficulty. So if you’re puzzled about us not responding to your emailed offer of an all-expenses-paid junket through several European cities, that’s probably why.

UPDATE: No sooner than I post the above, than one (1) piece of mail comes through, which is (to put it mildly) a lot less than I usually get overnight. Logging into Panix’s Unix shell service, I see a message-of-the-day has just been posted:

Many Panix services were disabled on-and-off (mostly off) from about 12:30AM Saturday morning up until recently. This was the result of a massive DDOS (distributed denial-of-service) attack that apparently affected a number of ISPs. We don’t know a lot about this yet, though we’ve been working on it all night, since the volume was far more massive than any attack in our previous experience, and apparently triggered at least two separate bugs in Cisco’s IOS (memory leakage and HSRP failures).

The attack is continuing, on and off. We’ve taken certain measures, which are partially effective, but we’re uncertain as to how they’ll stand up.

Sounds like interesting times on the Internet. I’ve been vaguely conscious that DDOS attacks have been getting larger and more sophisticated. Looks like this one may be affecting a lot of people, so be advised.

ANOTHER UPDATE: Teresa points out that since our home DSL (via Speakeasy) and our hosting provider (the entirely wonderful Blogomania) are both working, it makes sense to let people get in touch with us via an “open thread” on one of our weblogs. Teresa’s set it up here. Use it if you need to reach us—or if you have interesting information about this ongoing net problem. (Please note that, for now, if you post in any of our other comment threads, we might be a little slow to notice it, since our email is still very erratic.) [07:54 AM]

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