RSS

July 17 Open Registration For Dot Me

Tue, 15th July 2008, 15:50

Because .ME is about YOU!

ME domains, with their universal appeal, are expected to be in high demand. So some “premium” names – including verb-oriented domains, such as “Contact.ME,” “Drive.ME” or “Fly.ME,” – will be held back for auction after Open Registration. 

So if the price of gas has prevented you from parading your vanity plates all over the city....strut your stuff on the web

July 17 15:00 UTC: Open Registration

World's Oldest Blogger Has Died

Tue, 15th July 2008, 13:26

Olive Riley had posted more than 70 entries about her life since she began her blog in February 2007.

She shared her thoughts on modern life and experiences of living through the entire 20th Century, including two world wars and the Great Depression.

Her final entry was on 26 June. Olive Riley died in the nursing home in New South Wales on Saturday. She was 108

http://worldsoldestblogger.blogspot.c om

Breaking the Internet's glass ceiling

Tue, 15th July 2008, 13:00

It has taken four years to develop but now, due to a small scratch on a piece of glass, University of Sydney scientists say our Internet is set to become 60 times faster than current Telstra networks.

The scratch will mean almost instantaneous, error free and unlimited access to the Internet anywhere in the world,CUDOS (Centre for Ultra-high bandwith Devices for Optical Systems) announced today at the Opto-Electronics and Communications Conference (OECC).

"This is a critical building block and a fundamental advance on what is already out there. We are talking about networks that are potentially up to 100 times faster without costing the consumer any more," says Federation Fellow Professor Ben Eggleton, Director of CUDOS, based within the School of Physics at the University of Sydney.

Eggleton, whose team beat their deadline by a year, says that up until now information has been moving at a slow rate but optical fibres have a huge capacity to deliver more. "The scratched glass we've developed is actually a Photonic Integrated Circuit," he says.

"This circuit uses the 'scratch' as a guide or a switching path for information - kind of like when trains are switched from one track to another - except this switch takes only one picosecond to change tracks. This means that in one second the switch is turning on and off about one million million times. We are talking about photonic technology that has terabit per second capacity."

This initial demonstration proves it is possible to achieve speeds 60 times faster than current Australian Networks. With further development, the process is likely to produce even faster results.

"Currently we use electronics for our switching and that has been OK but as we move toward a more tech-savvy future there is a demand for instant web gratification. Photonic technology delivers what's needed and, more importantly, what's wanted."

Based on a highly fruitful scientific collaboration between CUDOS teams at the University of Sydney and the Australian National University, with the Technical University of Denmark and supported with Australian Research Council (ARC) funding, CUDOS' research was presented in a paper delivered at the OECC today.

http://www.usyd.edu.au/news/84.html?newscategoryid=2&newsstoryid=2411

GoDaddy Changes Policy on Employee Bidding.

Tue, 1st July 2008, 11:50

Domain registrar GoDaddy has changed it's policy on employee bidding.

 

GoDaddy General Counsel Christine Jones released a statement announcing the company’s change in policy:

Go Daddy has reviewed the auction and found nothing improper.
Adam Dicker’s knowledge on the auction was no different from what any customer coming to our TDNAM site would have had.
To ensure customer confidence and to avoid any possible future questions of impropriety all GD employees are now and in the future prohibited from participating in TDNAM auctions, purchasing, sales & back orders. 

 

Policies of Other Domain Service Providers

GoDaddy isn’t the only major expired domain service and auction house that lets its employees compete with customers. NameJet employees, and its partners Network Solutions, and eNom are allowed to bid on domain names through the service.

Enom has stated that their employees need managemSnapNamesent to sign off to purchase a domain from Namejet. However, they do have a strict policy against employees competing with customers in auction. Basically, the only way an employee can purchase a domain from Namejet is if no customer(s) have backorder the domain and management signs off.” This applies to Enom and NameJet, but not necessarily Network Solutions.

SnapNames, on the other hand, doesn’t let its employees bid against customers. The company stated policy is, “Oversee.net employees are strictly disallowed from bidding against customers.”

Sedo - Sedo places perhaps the most restrictions on its employees of any domain company. Kate Donahue, Director of Marketing for Sedo, explained:

Each employee (even our founders) are required to sign an agreement that they will not speculate in the domain market in any form during the term of their employment with Sedo. They must also disclose any domains which they had owned prior to their employment with Sedo. We do have one exception which allows them to purchase domains including their name, children’s or family names so that they can use them for personal sites, etc.

Pool - Pool allows employees to bid in auctions with restrictions, Employees can bid on an auction by either a) making a single, upfront proxy bid that can’t be changed or

b) “bidding to win”. In the latter scenario the employee can’t back out of the bidding at any point. He or she has to win the auction they enter. This prevents them from pumping up the price only to stick a customer with the bill.

 

GoDaddy allows executives to bid against own customers in auctions

Sun, 29th June 2008, 19:38

We happened to catch this news show up on Slashdot -- obviously it was far too disgusting to skip out on mentioning here, from the original source, NoDaddy:

When a GoDaddy customer forgets or otherwise fails to renew a domain, GoDaddy sells it off to the highest bidder through their TDNAM subsidiary.  Some registrars--even Network Solutions--give the domain owner a percentage of the proceeds of such auctions.  But GoDaddy keeps all the spoils to themselves.  Anyway, it was recently discovered that the Vice President of TDNAM has been bidding on (and sometimes winning) TDNAM's own auctions.  This drives up the prices for normal customers and also leads to conflict of interest issues since normal bidders need to trust TDNAM to keep various information secret, such as their proxy bids, bidding history, the domains on their watch list.  Also, GoDaddy doesn't tell you when your bid price was inflated due to TDNAM executives bidding against you.  They are one of the few auction services which don't even give you the nicknames of competing bidders.

DomainNameWire contacted other domain auction services, and none allow unrestricted employee bidding on their own auctions like GoDaddy does.  Enom (a patner in NameJet) notes that "We definitely do NOT let employees compete in auctions. Even if controlled, that practice has bad news written all over it."  Yet GoDaddy seems to think it is fine for executives to inflate their auction prices by bidding against customers.  They responded to DomainNameWire that they allow this.  There is a big risk that these employees have access to private information of the normal bidders, that they get special discounts, or that they may sometimes shill bid to increase prices without trying to actually win.

NoDaddy is a site operated by Fyodor, a user mentioned here on Hostjury several times in the past when his own domain names were suspended by GoDaddy

StopBadWare releases annual malicious sites report

Tue, 24th June 2008, 22:13

StopBadWare just recently released it's annual report of malicious sites. Since their report last year there are a number of changes. This year the StopBadWare project scanned over 200,000 sites whereas last year the total number was just under 50,000.

Stopbadware a joint project between researchers at Harvard, Oxford and Google, found that 52 percent of the more than 200,000 infected sites the group analyzed in late May were hosted at Chinese networks. In comparison to last year there are a few key differences, primarily the lack of U.S. providers mentioned.

Last year their report found that the top malware provider in the U.S. was none other than iPowerWeb. They're suspiciously absent this year around: But not becaues of a lack of trying! During the past year iPowerWeb has lost over 300,000+ of the original domains it was hosting during the StopBadWare reporting period. Of those nearly 11,000 malware sites it's only expected that at least half of them would be missing and abandoned the cesspool that is ipower.

This year China stepped up to the plate and as StopBadWare puts it, "left their backdoor open".

The full report is available for download below:

StopBadWare Press Release
StopBadWare Annual Report

ICANN may relax domain name rules

Tue, 24th June 2008, 10:00

The net's regulators ICANN, will vote this week to decide if the strict rules on so-called top level domain names, such as .com or .uk, can be relaxed.

If approved, it may allow companies to turn their brands into domain names while individuals could also carve out their own corner of the net.

The move could also see the launch of .xxx, after years of wrangling.

Top level domains are currently limited to individual countries, such as .uk (UK) or .it (Italy), as well as to commerce, .com, and to institutional organizations, such as .net, or .org.

To get around the restrictions, some companies have used the current system to their own ends.

For example, the Polynesia island nation Tuvalu, has leased the use of the .tv address to many television firms.

The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (Icann), which acts as a sort of regulator for the net as well as overseeing the domain name system, has been working towards opening up net addresses for the last three years.

 

HostMySite.com Web Hosting Company, to be Acquired by Wachovia Capital Partners

Wed, 11th June 2008, 01:25

Web hosting solutions firm, HostMySite, Inc., will be acquired by private equity investing firm, Wachovia Capital Partners (WCP). Terms of the acquisition, handled for HostMySite.com by DH Capital, were not disclosed

HostMySite.com is a leading hosting provider, delivering highly scalable hosting solutions including managed hosting, dedicated hosting, virtual private servers, and shared hosting.

Wachovia Capital Partners partnered with experienced industry executives, Art Zeile and Joel Daly earlier this year with a goal of acquiring and building a leading managed hosting company. Art Zeile and Joel Daly were the founders of Inflow, an IT services company managing 14 datacenters, which was sold to SunGard Availability Services in 2005. Wachovia Capital Partners was the first and largest investor of Inflow.
With this acquisition, the executives will assume the roles of CEO and COO of the company.

HostMySite.com was founded in 1997, by Lou Honick and Neil Heuer, now totalling over 250 employees, 4,000 servers and state of the art datacenter facilities. Following the transaction, Lou Honick will become the Chief Strategy Officer.

Mr. Honick explained, ''With greater access to financial capital, HostMySite.com will continue as a leader in our industry. We believe that we have great prospects for growth and can further expand our reputation for quality of service, deep expertise, and solid execution. We value the breadth of industry experience that Wachovia Capital Partners brings to the table having invested in hosting services companies for over a decade. We believe in this market and our opportunities are significantly enhanced with the backing of a strong financial partner.''

Mr. Zeile added, ''We are incredibly proud of what Lou Honick and Neil Heuer have created. The culture of HostMySite.com is one of intense focus on the customer. Customer satisfaction will remain our top priority.''

Wachovia Capital Partners is the private equity investing arm of Wachovia Corporation, the fourth largest bank holding company in the U.S. Since the group's inception in 1988, WCP has invested in excess of $3.5 billion of private equity capital on behalf of Wachovia. WCP's current investment portfolio is comprised of 43 companies. WCP is making this investment from WCP II, L.P., a $1.8 billion fund.

HostMySite.com was founded by partners Lou Honick and Neil Heuer in 1997. The foundation of the culture at HostMySite.com is a management driven commitment to complete customer satisfaction. HostMySite.com provides individuals, small businesses, and large corporations with affordable dedicated servers, VPS hosting, and ColdFusion hosting, supported by 24x7x365 live support through toll-free telephone, email, and live online chat.

(The Hosting News) - June 5, 2008  

Enom Dispute Forces NZ Openhost Offline

Tue, 3rd June 2008, 14:37

New Zealand web host Openhost, went offline resulting in hundreds of New Zealand businesses going dark. Openhost managing director Daniel Williams said the company's account with US domain registrar Enom was disabled Sunday morning without any notification, redirecting all the web host's domain names to a parked advertising page.

Less than an hour ago, the web host issued this update on the front page of its website:

Enom issue on all global Domains resolved overnight.

We are pleased to report that we have had our account reinstated and were able to reactivate sites at around 6pm last night.

Enom's management contacted us overnight to explani [sic] the situation and while it is still somehwat unclear we will continue to investigate and will update customers once we have a clear picture of the events.

Thank you for your support and continued patience during this difficult time.

Openhost management are now considering options to move away from Enom as this has hugely impacted ours and our customers' business. We cannot risk another episode of being turned off by a supplier without reason or warning over a weekend.

Watch for updates

Update: The Planet is back online

Tue, 3rd June 2008, 02:38

Kudos to the Planet for their consant updates. They have now back on line
 
Doug Erwin, chairman and CEO of The Planet, is providing a message tonight for their customers to offer additional insight into their data center outage: http://service-update.theplanet.com/Erwin-msg6-2-08.wav.

Planet Data Center goes offline after fire

Mon, 2nd June 2008, 17:23

Customers of hosting provider The Planet, are going through some tough times. On Saturday evening at 5:45 pm local time an electrical short caused a fire and explosion in the power room which knocked out walls and caused the entire facility to go offline. The Planet is reporting that no-one was hurt and no servers were damaged. Estimates suggest 9,000 servers are offline, affecting 7,500 customers, with initial ETAs for repair of at least 24 hours from onset.

The fire marshal has now allowed partial power from back up generators to be used and many of the servers on the second floor are back on line. Servers on the first floor are still down.

The Planet staff have shown exceptional professionalism through this ordeal and have posted updates almost every fifteen minutes on the Planet Forums.

We did note that the updates Kevin was placing are now being posted by Brooke since 7:30 this morning. The latest post states that the downstairs servers will begin coming online this evening. We will continue to update this story as it develops.

   link to ThePlanet's forum

The real-world implications of the rise of internet computing

Sun, 1st June 2008, 21:23

EVEN when the sky is blue over Quincy, clouds hang in the air. The small town in the centre of the state of Washington is home to half a dozen huge warehouses that power the global “computing clouds” run by internet companies such as Yahoo! and Microsoft. The size of several football pitches, these data centres are filled with thousands of powerful computers and storage devices and are hooked up to the internet via fast fibre-optic links.

Yet even more intriguing than the buildings' size is their location. Quincy is literally in the middle of nowhere, three hours' drive from the nearest big city, Seattle. But it turns out to be a perfect location for data centres. As computing becomes a utility, with services that can be consumed from everywhere and on any device, ever more thought is being put into where to put the infrastructure it needs.

Where the cloud touches down is not just the business of the geeks. Data centres are essential to nearly every industry and have become as vital to the functioning of society as power stations are. Lately, centres have been springing up in unexpected places: in old missile bunkers, in former shopping malls—even in Iceland. America alone has more than 7,000 data centres, according to IDC, a market-research firm. And each is housing ever more servers, the powerful computers that crunch and dish up data. In America the number of servers is expected to grow to 15.8m by 2010—three times as many as a decade earlier.

Until a few years ago, the location of servers was an afterthought, says Jonathan Koomey, a consulting professor of environmental engineering at Stanford University. Most sat in cupboards or under desks. The computers in corporate data centres were often housed in the firm's basement. And dedicated “server farms”, which came of age during the dotcom bubble and often housed the machines of internet start-ups, were mostly built in Silicon Valley and other high-tech hubs.

The geography of the cloud

Now this haphazard landscape is becoming more centralised. Companies have been packing ever more machines into data centres, both to increase their computing capacity and to comply with new data-retention rules. As space gets tight and energy costs climb, many firms have begun consolidating and simplifying their computing infrastructure. Hewlett-Packard, the world's biggest computer-maker, for instance, is replacing its 85 data centres across the world with just six in America.

Internet firms, meanwhile, need ever larger amounts of computing power. Google is said to operate a global network of about three dozen data centres with, according to some estimates, more than 1m servers. To catch up, Microsoft is investing billions of dollars and adding up to 20,000 servers a month.

As servers become more numerous, powerful and densely packed, more energy is needed to keep the data centres at room temperature. Often just as much power is needed for cooling as for computing. The largest data centres now rival aluminium smelters in the energy they consume. Microsoft's $500m new facility near Chicago, for instance, will need three electrical substations with a total capacity of 198 megawatts. As a result, finding a site for a large data centre is now, above all, about securing a cheap and reliable source of power, says Rich Miller of Data Center Knowledge, a website that chronicles the boom in data-centre construction.

The availability of cheap power is mainly why there are so many data centres in Quincy. It is close to the Columbia River, with dams that produce plenty of cheap hydroelectric power. There is water for cooling, fast fibre-optic links, and the remoteness provides security. For similar reasons, Google chose to build a new data centre at The Dalles, a hamlet across the Columbia River in the state of Oregon.

Such sites are in short supply in America, however. And with demand for computing picking up in other parts of the world, the boom in data-centre construction is spreading to unexpected places. Microsoft is looking for a site in Siberia where its data can chill. Iceland has begun to market itself as a prime location for data centres, again for the cool climate, but also because of its abundant geothermal energy. Hitachi Data Systems and Data Islandia, a local company, are planning to build a huge data-storage facility. It will be underground, for security and to protect the natural landscape.

So will all data centres end up in remote places like Quincy or Iceland? Not necessarily. For many applications, speed is of the essence. To make sure that its web-search results show up almost instantly, Google has to distribute its data centres around the world. Financial-services firms want to have access to trading data in real time, which explains the high density of data centres near New York and London. And fast-moving online games must be hosted near their players.

Even when speed does not matter, many firms want their servers close by, says Mike Foust, the boss of Digital Realty Trust, which builds and rents out data centres. Sometimes this is for maintenance; sometimes it is because “server huggers” do not want to let go. Security also counts. The Boyd Company, which advises companies about where to put their data centres, thinks more should be built in the provinces. Demand for secure locations for back-up centres, which many firms now have to maintain, will give rise to huge regional data centres, such as the one being built in Newport in Wales.

The criteria that companies use to pick a site keep evolving, says Mike Manos, Microsoft's director of data centres. His team feeds 35 sets of data into an electronic “heat” map of the world. With colours that range from green to red, it shows where conditions are favourable and which places should be avoided. And Microsoft needs a lot of choice: if a new service suddenly becomes popular, it needs to be able to increase computing capacity quickly. That is also why it uses shipping containers pre-loaded with up to 2,000 servers, which can be up and running within hours. In the firm's Chicago data centre, over 200 such containers will populate an entire floor.

Yet it will not just be market economics that determines the shape of the clouds. Local governments give tax breaks in the hope that the presence of big data centres will attract other businesses (the computing plants themselves usually employ only a few dozen people). Regulation is a factor, too. SWIFT, a bank-transfer consortium, has announced plans to build a data centre in neutral Switzerland, so that data collected in Europe will not be stored in an American facility, where it could be subpoenaed by the United States government.

In future the geography of the cloud is likely to get even more complex. “Virtualisation” technology already allows the software running on individual servers to be moved from one data centre to another, mainly for back-up reasons. One day soon, these “virtual machines” may migrate to wherever computing power is cheapest, or energy is greenest. Then computing will have become a true utility—and it will no longer be apt to talk of computing clouds, so much as of a computing atmosphere.

http://www.economist.com/business/PrinterFriendly.cfm?story_id=11413148

Inside the Attack that Crippled Revision3

Sat, 31st May 2008, 10:10

Quoted from http://revision3.com/[..]

on May 29th, 2008 at 07:49 am by Jim Louderback

As many of you know, Revision3’s servers were brought down over the Memorial Day weekend by a denial of service attack. It’s an all too common occurrence these days. But this one wasn’t your normal cybercrime – there’s a chilling twist at the end. Here’s what happened, and why we’re even more concerned today, after it’s over, than we were on Saturday when it started.

It all started with just a simple “hi”. Now “hi” can be the sweetest word in the world, breathlessly whispered into your ear by a long-lost lover, or squealed out by your bouncy toddler at the end of the day. But taken to excess – like by a cranky 3-year old–it gets downright annoying. Now imagine a room full of hyperactive toddlers, hot off of a three hour Juicy-Juice bender, incessantly shrieking “hi” over and over again, and you begin to understand what our poor servers went through this past weekend.

On the internet, computers say hi with a special type of packet, called “SYN”. A conversation between devices typically requires just one short SYN packet exchange, before moving on to larger messages containing real data. And most of the traffic cops on the internet – routers, firewalls and load balancers – are designed to mostly handle those larger messages. So a flood of SYN packets, just like a room full of hyperactive screaming toddlers, can cause all sorts of problems.

For adults, it’s typically an inability to cope, followed either by quickly fleeing the room, or orchestrating a massive Teletubbies intervention. Since they lack both legs and a ready supply of plushies, internet devices usually just shut down.

revision3_f5_dos.jpg

That’s what happened to us. Another device on the internet flooded one of our servers with an overdose of SYN packets, and it shut down – bringing the rest of Revision3 with it. In webspeak it’s called a Denial of Service attack – aka DoS – and it happens when one machine overwhelms another with too many packets, or messages, too quickly. The receiving machine attempts to deal with all that traffic, but in the end just gives up.
(Note the photo of our server equipment responding to the DoS Attack)

In its coverage Tuesday CNet asked the question, “Now who would want to attack Revision3?” Who indeed? So we set out to find out.

Internet attacks leave lots of evidence. In this case it was pretty easy to see exactly what our shadowy attacker was so upset about. It turns out that those zillions of SYN packets were addressed to one particular port, or doorway, on one of our web servers: 20000. Interestingly enough, that’s the port we use for our Bittorrent tracking server. It seems that someone was trying to destroy our bittorrent distribution network.

Let me take a step back and describe how Revision3 uses Bittorrent, aka BT. The BT protocol is a peer to peer scheme for sharing large files like music, programs and video. By harnessing the peer power of many computers, we can easily and cheaply distribute our huge HD-quality video shows for a lot less money. To get started, the person sharing that large file first creates a small file called a “torrent”, which contains metadata, along with which server will act as the conductor, coordinating the sharing. That server is called the tracking server, or “tracker”. You can read much more about Bittorrent at Wikipedia, if you really want to understand how it works.

Revision3 runs a tracker expressly designed to coordinate the sharing and downloading of our shows. It’s a completely legitimate business practice, similar to how ESPN puts out a guide that tells viewers how to tune into its network on DirecTV, Dish, Comcast and Time Warner, or a mall might publish a map of its stores.

But someone, or some company, apparently took offense to Revision3 using Bittorrent to distribute its own slate of shows. Who could that be?

Along with where it’s bound, every internet packet has a return address. Often, particularly in cases like this, it’s forged – or spoofed. But interestingly enough, whoever was sending these SYN packets wasn’t shy. Far from it: it’s as if they wanted us to know who they were.

A bit of address translation, and we’d discovered our nemesis. But instead of some shadowy underground criminal syndicate, the packets were coming from right in our home state of California. In fact, we traced the vast majority of those packets to a public company called Artistdirect (ARTD.OB). Once we were able to get their internet provider on the line, they verified that yes, indeed, that internet address belonged to a subsidiary of Artist Direct, called MediaDefender.

Now why would MediaDefender be trying to put Revision3 out of business? Heck, we’re one of the biggest defenders of media around. So I stopped by their website and found that MediaDefender provides “anti-piracy solutions in the emerging Internet-Piracy-Prevention industry.” The company aims to “stop the spread of illegally traded copyrighted material over the internet and peer-to-peer networks.” Hmm. We use the internet and peer-to-peer networks to accelerate the spread of legally traded materials that we own. That’s sort of directly opposite to what Media Defender is supposed to be doing.

Who pays MediaDefender to disrupt peer to peer networks? I don’t know who’s ponying up today, but in the past their clients have included Sony, Universal Music, and the central industry groups for both music and movies – the RIAA and MPAA. According to an article by Ars Technica, the company uses “its array of 2,000 servers and a 9GBps dedicated connection to propagate fake files and launch denial of service attacks against distributors.” Another Ars Technica story claims that MediaDefender used a similar denial of service attack to bring down a group critical of its actions.

Hmm. Now this could have been just a huge misunderstanding. Someone could have incorrectly configured a server on Friday, and left it to flood us mercilessly with SYN packets over the long Memorial Day weekend. If so, luckily it was pointed at us, and not, say, at the intensive care unit at Northwest Hospital and Medical Center But Occam’s razor leads to an entirely different conclusion.

So I picked up the phone and tried to get in touch with ArtistDirect interim CEO Dimitri Villard. I eventually had a fascinating phone call with both Dimitri Villard and Ben Grodsky, Vice President of Operations at Media Defender.

First, they willingly admitted to abusing Revision3’s network, over a period of months, by injecting a broad array of torrents into our tracking server. They were able to do this because we configured the server to track hashes only – to improve performance and stability. That, in turn, opened up a back door which allowed their networking experts to exploit its capabilities for their own personal profit.

Second, and here’s where the chain of events come into focus, although not the motive. We’d noticed some unauthorized use of our tracking server, and took steps to de-authorize torrents pointing to non-Revision3 files. That, as it turns out, was exactly the wrong thing to do. MediaDefender’s servers, at that point, initiated a flood of SYN packets attempting to reconnect to the files stored on our server. And that torrential cascade of “Hi”s brought down our network.

Grodsky admits that his computers sent those SYN packets to Revision3, but claims that their servers were each only trying to contact us every three hours. Our own logs show upwards of 8,000 packets a second.

“Media Defender did not do anything specific, targeted at Revision3″, claims Grodsky. “We didn’t do anything to increase the traffic” – beyond what they’d normally be sending us due to the fact that Revision3 was hosting thousands of MediaDefender torrents improperly injected into our corporate server. His claim: that once we turned off MediaDefender’s back-door access to the server, “traffic piled up (to Revision3 from MediaDefender servers because) it didn’t get any acknowledgment back.”

Putting aside the company’s outrageous use of our servers for their own profit, and the large difference between one connection every three hours and 8,000 packets a second, I’m still left to wonder why they didn’t just tell us our basement window was unlocked. A quick call or email and we’d have locked it up tighter than a drum.

It’s as if McGruff the Crime Dog snuck into our basement, enlisted an army of cellar rats to eat up all of our cheese, and then burned the house down when we finally locked him out – instead of just knocking on the front door to tell us the window was open.

In the end, here’s what I know:

  • A torrential flood of SYN packets rained down on Revision3’s network over Memorial Day weekend.
  • Those packets – up to 8,000 a second – came primarily from computers controlled by MediaDefender, who is in the business of shutting down illegal torrent sites.
  • Revision3 suffered measurable harm to its business due to that flood of packets, as the attacks on our legitimate and legal Torrent Tracking server spilled over into our entire internet infrastructure. Thus we were unable to serve videos and advertising through much of the weekend, and into Tuesday – and even our internal email servers were brought down.
  • Denial of service attacks are illegal in the US under 12 different statutes, including the Economic Espionage Act and the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act.
  •  

Although I can only guess, here’s what I think really happened. Media Defender was abusing one of Revision3’s servers for their own purposes – quite without our approval. When we closed off their backdoor access, MediaDefender’s servers freaked out, and went into attack mode – much like how a petulant toddler will throw an epic tantrum if you take away an ill-gotten Oreo.

That tantrum threw upwards of 8,000 SYN packets a second at our servers. And that was enough to bring down both our public facing site, our RSS server, and even our internal corporate email – basically the entire Revision3 business. Smashing the cookie jar, as it were, so that no one else could have any Oreos either.

Was it malicious? Intentional? Negligent? Spoofed? I can’t say. But what I do know is that the FBI is looking into the matter – and it’s far more serious than toddlers squabbling over broken toys and lost cookies.

MediaDefender claims that they have taken steps to ensure this won’t happen again. “We’ve added a policy that will investigate open public trackers to see if they are associated with other companies”, promised Grodsky, “and first will make a communication that says, hey are you aware of this.”

In the end, I don’t think Media Defender deliberately targeted Revision3 specifically. However, the company has a history of using their servers to, as Ars Technica said, “launch denial of service attacks against distributors.” They saw us as a “distributor” – even though we were using Bittorrent for legitimate reasons. Once we shut them out, their vast network of servers were automatically programmed to implement a scorched earth policy, and shut us down in turn. The long Memorial Day weekend holiday made it impossible for us to contact either Media Defender or their ISP, which only exacerbated the problem.

All I want, for Revision3, is to get our weekend back – both the countless hours spent by our heroic tech staff attempting to unravel the mess, and the revenue, traffic and entertainment that we didn’t deliver.

If it can happen to Revision3, it could happen to your business too. We’re simply in the business of delivering entertainment and information – that’s not life or death stuff. But what if MediaDefender discovers a tracker inside a hospital, fire department or 911 center? If it happened to us, it could happen to them too. In my opinion, Media Defender practices risky business, and needs to overhaul how it operates. Because in this country, as far as I know, we’re still innocent until proven guilty – not drawn, quartered and executed simply because someone thinks you’re an outlaw.

- Jim Louderback
CEO - Revision3

UPDATE
We’ve received several requests for some technical data to illustrate the specifics of the attack. So we’ve provided a text file with some more “under the hood” data.

This file represents every packet we identified as being part of the DoS for a period of time less than .02 *seconds* on Monday morning. If you count, there’s a total of 96 packets. (We removed 12 legitimate packets from the trace). We used a combination of tcpdump and wireshark to gather this information. (this particular trace is from tcpdump)

View the text file: rev3packettrace.txt

Google Donates and Helps Collect Aid

Tue, 13th May 2008, 13:07

After Cyclone Nargis struck Burma, Google put a donation link just below the search box on its site to Web users could actively participate in relief efforts.

The ruling military junta in Burma banned Google and Gmail from the region in the summer of 2006. 

Google added the donation link,  under it's search box. When you click this donation link it provides two donation options; one to Unicef and the other to Direct Relief International. Google will match these donations and provide up to $1 million to victims.

Google's donation page does not include any fees or charges, so 100 per cent of a donation will be transferred directly to relief efforts.

Microsoft is also helping out despite being banned in Burma.

DOT Org Domain Face 10% Increase in Registration Fee

Tue, 13th May 2008, 11:24

Companies that own .org domains will soon see rates increases to renew, transfer, and register new domains. The company that operates the .org domain, Public Interest Registry (PIR), has decided to raise wholesale rates from $6.15 to $6.75 per domain this year—a 10 percent fee increase, following last year's 2.5 percent increase.

PIR informed the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) of its plans in a letter (PDF) sent earlier this month. The increase will go into effect on November 9, giving those who own or want .org domains another six months to take advantage of the current price.

PIR doesn't require ICANN's approval in order to raise rates, but it is limited by ICANN on how much it can raise them per year. According to ICANN's registry agreement for .org domains, service fees cannot be increased by more than 1.1 times the previous year's max service fees. The original agreement started out in 2006 at $6 per domain, meaning that 2007's maximum service fees would have been $6.60, and 2008's maximum is $7.26.

 VeriSign, has raised the prices for .com and .net the maximum allowable each year under its agreement with ICANN.

Host Color has added osTicket support

Mon, 12th May 2008, 12:37

Host Color has added osTicket, an open source ticket support system to hosting plans. 

Many web entrepreneurs and website owners, who have established successful online businesses often ask how to expand to the next level, improve their services and have better communication with their customers and partners. Host Color offers them osTicket, an organized solution which will help them handle customer requests and manage their priority.

osTicket is easy-to-use support ticket system that integrates inquires made via mail or a web-based form into simple multi-user web interface. The software archives customer requests and responses, so you can organize them and provide your customers with quick and accurate help. osTicket is a professional website tool that allows you trouble free migration from your current support system if you need more advanced solution.

Host Color knows that customer support is the most essential part of any successful online business. You can attract a lot of customers but if you have lax support you can't keep them long. It is crucial to have a reliable Help Desk and provide customers with prompt responses. osTicket is the right solution for that.

 

Review your Host

Unlike other web hosting review sites Hostjury doesn't want to give you our opinionated view of web hosting providers (often geared towards the host that pays the most for advertising) - we want to give you, the user, the ability to recommend and review your web hosting provider to other users and to share your real hosting reviews.

Think of it as a "one-stop-shop" for web hosting reviews and information.

Help us to help you and other users by reviewing your webhost! And maybe win one of those iPods!

Official 'dotME' Rollout Schedule

Tue, 6th May 2008, 22:46

 

For those who thinks it's all about you... well you can now have a "dot me" web address.

Official “.ME” Rollout Schedule

Finally we have some concrete time frames for the public launch of the .ME domain names!

May 6 to May 20: General Sunrise Period. During this time, anyone with a trademark is eligible to apply for a .ME domain.

May 20 to June 6: Quiet Period. The registry will be closed to registrars. Sunrise auctions will begin for names that received multiple applications. .ME domain names that receive only one application will be awarded.

June 6 to June 26: Landrush. This is the first opportunity for the public at large to apply. Anyone who doesn’t have a trademark, but is interested in a specific .ME domain, can apply during this period. This is also when Sunrise challenges begin.

June 26 to July 15: Quiet Period. During this time, the registry is closed to registrars. Names for which there was only one application during the Landrush Period are allocated. Landrush auctions will begin for names that received multiple applications.

July 17: Open Registration. Domain names are registered on a first-come, first-served basis.

 

 

Hostopia Now Inks Deal For Tucows

Tue, 6th May 2008, 20:25

 

May 6, 2008: Web hosting provider Hostopia, and Internet services company Tucows announced they signed a agreement yesterday for Hostopia to acquire Tucows' shared hosting customer assets. The agreement will be inked on May 15, 2008 for $1.6 million

Tucows offers Internet services to a global network of over 7,000 web hosts, ISPs and other providers of Internet services, as well as provisions millions of email boxes and manages over seven million domains.

Hostopia and Tucos will work together to move these accounts to Hostopia's unified web service platform by July. The accounts involved in the transaction will continue to be served under the familiar Domain Direct brand, which will operate as a managed service by Hostopia.

"We are very pleased to have concluded this transaction. We are already hosting some of the Tucows Retail Service Group's users so the impact on customers should be minimal," says Colin Campbell, CEO of Hostopia. "Our plan is to provide customers with numerous upgrades and additional value-added services to earn their loyalty and continued business. Traditional web hosting is fast evolving to the software as a service model and Hostopia is perfectly positioned to offer these services to these customers."

Second deal for Hostopia 

This marks the second acquisition Hostopia has announced in the past couple weeks. Last week, the web host signed a definitive agreement to purchase the customer assets of web hosting provider Luxomovera, which operates as uplinkearth, in an all-cash offer for an unspecified amount. The transaction will add another 12,500 small business customers from uplinkearth's data center facility to Hostopia's unified web services platform by June 30.

Hostopia provides web services that enable small- and medium-sized businesses to establish and maintain an online presence. The company's customers are communication services providers, including telecommunication carriers, cable companies, Internet service providers, domain registrars and web hosting providers.

Write A Review 

Unlike other web hosting review sites we don't want to give you our opinionated view of web hosting providers (often geared towards the host that pays the most for advertising) - we want to give you, the user, the ability to recommend and review your web hosting provider to other users and to share your real hosting reviews.

Think of it as a "one-stop-shop" for web hosting reviews and information.

Help us to help you and other users by reviewing your webhost!

You might win an iPod! 

 



Liquid Web Powers New Windows VPS Offering with Parallels Virtuozzo Containers

Tue, 6th May 2008, 20:22

RENTON, Wash., May 6, 2008 – Liquid Web, a leading managed hosting provider, has launched a new Microsoft Windows virtual private server (VPS) offering powered by Parallels Virtuozzo Containers. The offering will be delivered from Liquid Web’s two fully owned and operated mid-western datacenters. This represents an expanded partnership with Parallels, who already supplies Liquid Web with Parallels Plesk Control Panel software, which is bundled with all Windows dedicated server offerings.

Parallels Virtuozzo Containers includes the Parallels Infrastructure Manager, a robust set of management tools that helps Liquid Web personnel deliver their “Heroic Support,” which has become a trademark of their services. Using the Parallels Infrastructure Manager and Parallels Plesk control panel software, Liquid Web can offer their customers a control panel for adding software-as-a-service (SaaS) applications as well as the ability to scale the size of their VPS.

"We are pleased that Liquid Web has selected Parallels Virtuozzo Containers and the Parallels Open Platform for this important new offering and that our two companies are deepening our partnership," said Serguei Beloussov, CEO of Parallels. "Parallels Virtuozzo Containers offers the highest levels of density, manageability and scalability, which makes it an ideal solution for datacenter owners who want to offer a wide variety of fully managed services,"

Liquid Web takes advantage of the Parallels Virtuozzo Containers’ architecture to offer "burstable" memory – for example, temporarily adding more memory to a container during a short period of high activity – so clients may have access to more server resources than they actually pay for. The architecture provides this capability while guaranteeing minimal levels of service so clients never have less memory than they contract for.

"Our VPS offerings give a significant competitive advantage over hypervisor-based solutions," said Travis Stoliker, Marketing Director of Liquid Web. "The high density, reliability, power savings, and management tools of Parallels Virtuozzo Containers allow us to provide our customers with more attractive offerin

Parallels Virtuozzo Containers is the world's leading operating system (OS) virtualization solution. On a single physical server and single OS installation, it enables users to run workloads in multiple, simultaneously running execution environments called "containers". Compared to other virtualization technologies, Parallels Virtuozzo Containers offers the highest levels of density, performance and manageability.

The Parallels Open Platform enables hosting with Parallels virtualization and automation technology through integration with a wide range of third-party applications and systems. The Application Packaging Standard (APS), a key element of the platform, is used by independent software vendors (ISVs) and service providers to seamlessly integrate applications to offer to the more than 10 million businesses and individuals that use Parallels products.



Unlike other web hosting review sites we don't want to give you our opinionated view of web hosting providers (often geared towards the host that pays the most for advertising) - we want to give you, the user, the ability to recommend and review your web hosting provider to other users and to share your real hosting reviews.

Think of it as a "one-stop-shop" for web hosting reviews and information.

Help us to help you and other users by reviewing your webhost and!

You might win one of those iPods


Data center loses Peter Gabriels Server...literally

Tue, 6th May 2008, 19:29

Thought this was cute. Ok...not so cute but worth sharing

With all the news about security threats lately, Peter Gabriel thinks that data mining is kids play.

Here's the message on the front page of

http://petergabriel.com/ 

The majority of Real World, Peter Gabriel and WOMAD web services are currently off-line. Our servers were stolen from our ISP's data centre on Sunday night - Monday morning. We are working to restore normal service as soon as possible.

Our first move has been to get our store up and running, so if you want WOMAD Charlton Park tickets or Music from Real World Records, we are back in business.

 

Hostopia Inks Deal to Aquire Uplinkearth

Sun, 4th May 2008, 17:19

Web hosting company specializing in small and medium business support, Hostopia, will sign a definitive agreement to purchase the customer assets of New Jersey-based hosting services provider, Luxmovera, LLC's uplinkearth.

Uplinkearth accepted the all-cash offer last week. The companies plan to migrate all users of record from uplinkearth's data center facility to Hostopia's unified web services platform by June 30, 2008. The companies indicated that all users shall continue to be served under the familiar brand of uplinkearth, which will operate as a managed service by Hostopia.

Colin Campbell, CEO of Hostopia noted, ''We are very pleased to have concluded this agreement with uplinkearth. They have approximately 12,500 small business subscribers, which we feel are very compatible with the Hostopia web services platform. Our strategy will be to migrate all users and present them with many upgraded features and services. Over time, we will expect additional value-added services to be a logical upgrade path for many of these small businesses. Hostopia's main focus is private-labeled, wholesale outsourced web services that we sell to Telco's and broadband providers. Acquisitions such as uplinkearth complement our organic growth plan by adding end-users to our unified platform and giving us revenue-per-user opportunities through the many additional value-added services we offer, such as fax-to-email and collaborative email with wireless mobility synchronization.''

Michael Yablonowitz, Co-founder and President of Uplinkearth added, ''My partners and I have built a very successful hosting services business over the years. We are experiencing increased demand for new services from our customers which can drive opportunity for our business to grow. We decided the market timing was ideal to transfer our user base over to a highly capable provider in the hosting and SaaS arena - one who can deliver the high-demand services our users need. Hostopia's proven credentials and track record in migrating large numbers of hosted business customers made them the ideal choice as our chosen buyer. We think our users will eagerly respond to the many new upgrades and value-added services Hostopia plans to offer them.'

 

Unlike other web hosting review sites, Hostjury doesn't want to give you our opinionated view of web hosting providers (often geared towards the host that pays the most for advertising) - Hostjury wants to give you, the user, the ability to recommend and review your web hosting provider to other users and to share your real hosting reviews. So share your experinces with your host on Hostjury, and have a chance to win one of those iPods

Think of Hostjury as a "one-stop-shop" for web hosting reviews and information.

'

30 MONTHS IN PRISON FOR CRIMINAL COPYRIGHT INFRINGEMENT

Sun, 4th May 2008, 17:26


Forty Defendants Convicted In Operation Copycat To Date

SAN FRANCISCO – U.S. Attorney Joseph P. Russoniello announced today that David M. Fish, 26, of Woodbury, Conn., was sentenced yesterday in U.S. District Court in San Jose, Calif., to 30 months in prison on charges of criminal copyright infringement and circumvention.

Fish was also sentenced by U.S. District Judge Ronald M. Whyte to a three year term of supervised release following his release from prison, a mandatory special assessment of $500, and the forfeiture of computer and other equipment used in committing the copyright offenses.

The case is part of Operation Copycat, an investigation by the FBI and the U.S. Attorney’s Office targeting online warez groups, which illegally distribute newly-released movies, games, software and music online. Operation Copycat has resulted in 40 convictions thus far and is part of a larger federal crackdown against the illegal online distribution of copyrighted materials known as Operation Site Down.

On Feb. 27, 2006, Fish pleaded guilty to five counts in federal court in San Jose, including four counts in the Northern District of California case for conspiracy to commit criminal copyright infringement; distribution of technology primarily designed to circumvent encryption technology protecting a right of a copyright owner and aiding and abetting; circumventing a technological measure that protects a copyright work and aiding and abetting; copyright infringement by electronic means and aiding and abetting. On the same day, Fish also pleaded guilty to one count of criminal infringement of a copyright in the Southern District of Iowa. The two cases involved separate investigations and conduct in both jurisdictions. The charges were consolidated and prosecuted by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of California.

In the Northern District of California case, according to court documents and information presented at the sentencing hearing, from approximately August 2004 to July 2005, Fish served as the site operator as well as a scripter, equipment supplier, broker and encoder for warez sites. As a site operator, he built and managed the warez site and controlled the daily operations of the site and server. Fish also circumvented technology measures designed to protect or limit access to copyrighted materials. Without circumvention, many of the copyrighted works could not be reproduced and made available to others. Once the DVDs were circumvented, they were uploaded onto the warez site and downloaded and accessed by hundreds of other warez participants.

Scripters for warez sites create, program and help build the sites. Suppliers provide an unauthorized copyrighted movie, game or software while equipment suppliers provide hardware (such as hard drives, computer parts, and computer servers) to the warez site. Brokers find groups to participate on the warez site and encoders circumvent the technological measures and protections of copyrighted works on the DVDs designed to prevent unauthorized access and copying.

In the Southern District of Iowa case, Fish participated in a separate warez site from Jan. 21, 2003, through April 21, 2004. The warez server used in this case was determined to contain approximately 13,000 pirated software titles including movies, games, utility software and music. Transfer logs confirm that defendant Fish assisted in the uploading of 131 software titles and downloading 373 software titles to and from the warez FTP server between Aug. 16, 2003, and March 29, 2004. The Iowa case resulted from an earlier national initiative against online piracy known as Operation FastLink.

Operation Site Down and Operation FastLink are the largest and most successful global criminal enforcement actions ever taken against the organized piracy groups which are responsible for most of the initial illegal distribution of copyrighted movies, software, games and music on the Internet. Consisting of multiple FBI undercover investigations, these two operations have so far resulted in a total of 108 felony convictions; more than 200 search warrants executed in 15 countries; the confiscation of hundreds of computers and illegal online distribution hubs; and the removal of more than 100 million dollars worth of illegally-copied copyrighted software, games, movies and music from illicit distribution channels. Countries participating in these U.S.-led operations include: France, Canada, Sweden, Denmark, the Netherlands, the United Kingdom, Portugal, Hungary, Israel, Spain, Australia, Singapore, Belgium and Germany.

Alentus Acquires Website Source and SpeedFox

Sat, 3rd May 2008, 14:45

Laguna Niguel, California. - May 1, 2008

Alentus Corporation announced that it has acquired Austin, Texas-based Website Source, Inc. and SpeedFox, Inc., providers of Linux website hosting.

The acquisition adds $2.6M and 14,000 clients to Alentus portfolio. The current Website Source infrastructure is being integrated into the Alentus global, redundant Cisco-powered network, and all Texas staff has been retained.

“This acquisition provides a stable and solid addition of Linux powered web hosting to the Alentus client base. And at the same time, it offers Windows hosting options to Website Source and SpeedFox clients. We are pleased with how the companies complement one another and look forward to growing our client base by offering a more complete menu of hosting services to the Internet community,” said William King, Alentus Corporation CEO.

Financial details of the cash and stock transaction were not disclosed.

Alentus Corporation is based in Laguna Niguel, California, with Data Center and Network Operations Center facilities in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada and Columbus, Ohio, USA.

Review your host 

Unlike other web hosting review sites, Hostjury doesn't want to give you our opinionated view of web hosting providers (often geared towards the host that pays the most for advertising) - Hostjury allows the user, the ability to recommend and review your web hosting provider to other users and to share your real hosting reviews.

Hostjury is  "one-stop-shop" for web hosting reviews and information.

Help us to help you and other users by reviewing these companies and other webhost on Hostjury.com!

Idologic offering distributed and redundant DNS services

Sat, 3rd May 2008, 00:34

Idologic, a reseller and dedicated web hosting company based in London, Ontario, Canada, announced earlier that it would begin offering distributed and redundant DNS services to its existing customers for free.

These dedicated and redundant DNS services allow customers to experience true 100% uptime. It's a must have for companies that depend on email or for customers that have accounts spread over multiple services, said Damiaan Habets, Idologics CTO.

The DNS services, which are spread across two separate networks located in Georgia and Texas, are specifically designed for customers who require unparalleled reliability or customers with accounts on multiple servers.

This service is designed to provide 100% uptime. Even if the customers primary server is down, the DNS service allows a backup service to accept mail and queue it. When the primary server is restored, the mail will be delivered as usual, added Habets.

The new DNS services offered by Idologic are also expected to improve the speed of customers web sites on both a network and server level. For customers with advanced configurations, the distributed DNS services can also be used to enable load balancing and failover setups.

For customers who utilize multiple servers to host their web sites, these new DNS services allow them to only have one set of name servers. This will make hosting simpler for Idologics reseller customers and in turn, their customers.

This is an offering we are very excited about. I think it is something our customers will really appreciate and grow to love,said Jeff Gardiner, Idologics CEO.

The distributed DNS services will be available free of charge to Idologic reseller and dedicated hosting customers. For customers choosing to have their DNS running off of a private IP, private IP addresses will be available at a charge of $2.50 per IP per month.

 Idologic, which was founded in 2001, is a high quality reseller and dedicated web hosting company based in London, Ontario, Canada. The company prides itself in providing unmatched customer service and offering powerful hosting solutions to all of its customers.

Hostjury doesn't  give you our opinionated view of web hosting providers (often geared towards the host that pays the most for advertising) - Hostjury wants to give you, the user, the ability to recommend and review your web hosting provider to other users and to share your real hosting reviews.

Hostjury is the "one-stop-shop" for web hosting reviews and information.

Help us to help you and other users by reviewing your webhost on Hostjury, and get a chance at one of those iPods Hostjury is giving away!

SharkSpace goes Green

Thu, 1st May 2008, 19:24

SharkSpace LLC , one of the leading web hosting providers based in

the United States, with an intention to better protect the environment

has gone green from Earth Day (April 22, 2008).

SharkSpace over the last several months has moved their entire server fleet to new energy efficient Dell servers.  The servers consume up to 25% less energy than previous generations. When combined with impressive performance gains, this results in up to a 3X increase in performance per watt over previous generations. SharkSpace also uses energy efficient florescent light bulbs in all their office locations.

In addition to the new server fleet and lighting, the company will also reduce its energy use by converting its paper files to electronic versions through document imaging technology. With the conversion, the company expects to use about half of the paper it is currently using, furthering SharkSpace's commitment to environmentally friendly operations.

SharkSpace LLC Founder & CEO Scott Jones said: "Today, we are proud to have taken a first step towards true energy sustainability by integrating green power and energy-efficient strategies into our operations. As a company that strives to best serve the residents of our community, we feel an obligation to do everything we can to protect our environment. We view this not only a matter of corporate responsibility, but also a case of moral and ethical accountability. By joining The Green revolution, we're expanding our scope beyond just optimizing our own operations to helping the industry set higher efficiency standards and develop better environmental practices."

Electronic waste (e-waste) is the fastest growing type of trash in the United States. E-waste makes up 2% of the garbage, but produces up to 40% of the lead in landfills. E-waste in landfills can leach toxic substances into the soil and groundwater. Electrical power plant emissions clog up the environment. There is a lot being said in the media right now about the importance of maintaining a healthy and green environment and the message is now starting to be heard that the responsibility does not only lie with large companies. Environmentally sustainable practices are the responsibility of everyone and must start in our own backyards to dramatically feel the impact of positive change for the environment. Whether the changes are as small as beginning a recycling routine, or maybe changing your light globes to minimize energy consumption or larger changes such as optimizing the internal efficiency of your home through structural changes; these decisions will ultimately have a positive impact on the environment.

Review SharkSpace Hosting Services on Hostjury so potential clients can make informed choice