I keep getting message that the website is offline for past few days (attached example image). I’ve tried multiple browsers and computers and clearing cookies. Every once in a while the webpage will load for a minute and then stop working again.
This is the first time I’ve been able to use the website long enough to post this message.
same here. hope they’ll fix it soon.
Edit [4 hrs later]:
The moment I clicked "Post" the website crashed again. :( It has been so long ago my above post has already faded.
I received an email blast from Mark Kaufmann a couple of days ago explaining that outage being due to the hosting provider being the target of a DDoS attack. (Cf. Denial-of-service attack - Wikipedia) Whether you got the message might depend on your email preferences, I don’t know. I expect that after the dust settles there will be some information in the support forum from Lingq admins.
But I work in the field of network security with a particular emphasis on detection and mitigation of DDoS attacks, so I understand exactly the sort of situation that Mark referred to. In the sort of situation that was described there is nothing wrong with the site, the servers, or its database, but the network is simply not able to supply you connectivity to the site.
The attack was described as being against the hosting provider. It’s likely it was actually against another site hosted by the provider. In either case it’s rather like this: Imagine you have two computers in your home sharing the same Internet connection. (You probably don’t have to imagine this.) If tons and tons of traffic is sent to the first computer, so much that it’s more than the amount of connectivity that you buy from your Internet provider, then your perfectly healthy second computer will not be able to do a thing on the Internet.
The hosting provider is like your house, providing the space and power and local networking and Internet connecitivty. Multiple unrelated organizations host their sites at these premises, corresponding to the multiple computers in your house in my anology.
A DDoS attack directs a large amount of traffic, sometimes hundreds of gigabits per second, to a single computer. This is more than the computer can handle. It is more than the internet connection in the hosting datacenter can handle (which will have much, much better connectivity than your house.) It can be more than can be handled by the inter-network connections between the Tier 1 ISPs that make up the global Internet can handle, and it can be more than can be handled by parts of a Tier 1 ISP’s network. “Collateral damage” occurs when such an attack against one resource affects availability of other, unrelated resources such as happened here.
It is often impossible to determine the source of such attacks, and it can be very difficult to mitigate the effects of such an attack. Certainly there is nothing that an individual site owner such as Lingq can do in such a situation short of shopping for a provider with the infrastructure, network, and expertise to better handle such a situation. I have no way of knowing, of course, whether that’s an option here, but it certainly is not something that can be done with the flip of a switch.
Anyway, this is the world that I return to on Monday after two weeks off work for the holidays. Apparently I can’t get away from it even while not working!
I found the email just now, buried in an automatic folder of mine. Thanks for heads up.
Working for a public internet provider, I agree with what Khardy says but I want to stress the point that even if DDOS exist, the way the web host handle it change dramatically the effect on the customer!
Depending on how much the web host company invests in security infrastructure, the effect of a DDOS campaign could be noticeable or not.
To give a analogy: if you own a disco, it will be a huge difference for your clients if you hire 2 weak bouncers than to have 20 strong guys at the door….
The origin of the pb is indeed the DDOS (or the angry people at the door for the analogy) BUT the effect comes first from the way you deal with it.
From what I saw those 4 days around new years eve, I wouldn’t advice for CLOUDFLARE.com (the hosting of lingq)…
I appreciate OVH.com (no pub inside !! ) as they are French LOL and they hosted wikileaks and have to carry on with huges DDOS attacks, whereas as a client I’ve just notice latency or jittery…
For sure anti-ddos infra cost a lot (2millions Euro for 100Gbps)
Finally for those who want to see from where DDOS attacks come from in real time, drop a eye at:
quite impressive huh?
Vancouver is asleep but from Paris, I can say that we are going to put strategies in place that will ensure us against attacks on third party server hosts. We are truly sorry for this event and apologize for the inconvenience to our users. We will improve.