In waiting for the host to get back to us over the most recent outage, the Mods started digging into analytics to pinpoint the source of the disruption. In that, we discovered that EF was being repeatedly hit by the same IP address every few seconds. We took immediate action and banned that IP and service was restored within minutes.
Then we started looking at some of the symptoms of a DDOS/DOS attack, something we have never seriously considered before, and many symptoms do align with the outages we’ve experienced over the last few weeks. So it’s possible that the outages have been deliberate rather than just your enthusiasm for the event (which would both make more sense and less sense).
More sense: Not the members’ fault. Drabblemania definitely exceeds even our most optimistic expectations, but EF’s events have always been popular and this has never happened before.
Less sense: We have no idea why we would’ve been targeted for such an attack. Even with some similarities, this isn’t on the same scale as what was happening to AO3. For one thing, no one has claimed responsibility. For another, it looks less like a DDOS attack (which is what AO3 went through, with multiple actors working in tandem to overload the server) and more like a DOS attack (with a single actor working to overload the server).
Anyway, I’d like to believe it’s random (despite it happening multiple times now) and that it’ll now stop entirely, but we don’t know. In the interim, thank you for your patience and understanding. Should this happen again, we’ll at least know immediately where to look and what actions to take without waiting on the host.
--Holly and the Mods on July 19, 2023 11:26am 10 Comments