Apr. 24th, 2013

abqdan: (Default)
Once again I had to spend hours blocking a distributed hack attack. This one originated from three locations - Canada, Russia, and China. While I think two might have been bots controlled from elsewhere, the Russian attack was at least in part conducted by a human.

The general purpose of the regular attacks against websites I maintain seems to be to install malware and/or to install porn directories, which users are then directed to from other hacked sites. The problem has grown tremendously in the past few years.

In addition to this particular attack, last week the ISP I use was hit with a DDOS attack, and a brute-force attack against all WordPress sites hosted on their servers.

The continued and frequent attacks mean I can spend less of my time on actual site maintenance; I can only imagine the hours consumed in total by owners of small websites.

But the really disturbing thing is the number of hacked computers that are now controlled remotely by botnets, which are responsible for these attacks; and the number of sites that are maintained by people who can't tell an SQL injection attack from their armpit. In many ways, the tools that have enabled just about anyone to create a web presence are responsible for the growth of these attack vectors - there are so many sites out there with trivial attempts at security that they are sitting ducks for these concerted efforts launched by criminal networks.

I recently read an article that highlighted a particular town in Russia. Twenty years ago, it was a small farming community; it is now home to thousands of programmers, all hired to come up with new ways to hack websites. And apparently, this is either not illegal there, or the authorities have no way (or maybe interest) in shutting down this activity.

I wonder how much longer small sites can exist; even major corporations are unable to keep ahead of all the attacks on their infrastructure. A single owner has no hope of maintaining sufficient security to beat off every access attempt.

Color me disillusioned.


abqdan: (Default)

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