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Furry websites face broad denial-of-service attacks

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Fur Affinity connection timeout Online furry communities are reeling after a series of distributed denial-of-service attacks now entering their second day, which not only knocked out Fur Affinity, but have impacted a variety of less-well-visited art and chat sites.

Fur Affinity has been practically unavailable since the disruption started, at 10PM EDT on Tuesday. Its forums, which initially remained up, went offline Wednesday afternoon.

SoFurry was the next-worst hit, with almost complete downtime since their attack started, also late on Wednesday, while Inkbunny, Weasyl, e621 and F-list have all suffered attacks.

Reactions to the attacks have been mixed, with Weasyl upgrading servers, while Inkbunny advised users to "take the opportunity to spend time with the important people in your life".

Weasyl and e621 appear to have remained online without significant downtime, thanks in part to their shielding behind distributed proxy CloudFlare, while Inkbunny has been up and down throughout the day as it was hit by two hour-long attacks which saturated its connection.

It is as yet unclear whether there is a link between FA's downtime and the subsequent attacks, or whether a group or individual has just taken the opportunity to sow chaos within the fandom. Fur Affinity, which reported "disruption in four facilities", reposted this message on their forums:

[Fur Affinity's datacenter] InfoRelay experienced intermittent network connectivity issues during 10:10pm - 11:13pm on October 15th (sic.), 2014. This issue was caused by large attack on our network at the IAD2 facility. Our Network Administrators have confirmed that the DDoS attack has been originated from your IP block, this attack was causing issues for other customers in the IAD2 facility. To resolve the issue we were forced to blackhole the netblock, after the change was made connectivity has been stable at the IAD2 facility for the past hour.

While InfoRelay's statement seems to imply that a machine under Fur Affinity's control was sending denial-of-service traffic, FA administrator Dragoneer said this was "just poor wording on their part", and that "the DDOS is definitely incoming, NOT originating from our servers"

Update (16 Oct Noon): On Thursday morning, SoFurry announced that they were being null-routed by their datacenter, a protective measure intended to prevent traffic coming to or from the server and impacting other machines which was also applied to Fur Affinity.

Update 2 (16 Oct PM): SoFurry has returned to service; DDoS attacks appear to have ceased, but Fur Affinity remains offline.

Update 3 (17 Oct AM): SoFurry is under attack once again. Fur Affinity has set up CloudFlare but needs to be reconnected by their datacenter.

Update 4 (17 Oct Noon): Fur Affinity's Dragoneer is chatting about the downtime on Reddit.

Update 5 (17 Oct PM): Inkbunny and Weasyl have been subject to further attacks, while Fur Affinity has returned in read-only mode.

Distributed denial-of-service attacks have become increasingly common over the last decade, with providers such as CloudFlare and Incapsula making good money by adding a protective caching network between servers and clients (with varying impacts on performance and security).

New tactics such as SSDP reflection are quickly adopted and packaged into "takedown services", with bot farms rented for what can be just a few dollars per hour. Exploits for bugs such as Shellshock and Heartbleed promise to make such attacks even more powerful in the future.

Comments

Your rating: None Average: 5 (2 votes)

"Sew chaos" --> "sow chaos"

Your rating: None Average: 5 (1 vote)

I knew there was something wrong with that line. Thanks. :-)

Your rating: None Average: 5 (1 vote)

No sweat. I usually need an editor at dark thirty (well, zero dark fifty-eight) too.

Now I'm imagining the seamstress who designs armor for Chaos space marines. :D

Your rating: None Average: 5 (2 votes)

It's worse than it looks; it's 10AM here and I've been up all night dealing with this over at IB. :-)

Didn't help that our host had scheduled maintenance for last night; the site was down even after the DDoS abated.

Your rating: None Average: 5 (2 votes)

Good write-up on this, thanks. Nice and concise.

Your rating: None

Any leads on the who and why?

Your rating: None Average: 5 (2 votes)

I've been hearing about this too sort of.

Is someone who hates furries attacking the websites? Randomly messing around? Or just a system glitch?

Heard FA got back up for a tiny while, but generally it's been like this for 2/3 days (At least for FA to me) for what I can remember. Didn't check FA in a while before the crash..

Diamond_Man.exe - Not real fursona
Science/Knowledge/Sense > Bias or Biased

Your rating: None Average: 2.7 (14 votes)

If it is the issue that the DDoS attack actually commandeered FA's own servers to propagate attacks, I wonder if it is possible that the very data (or links) within FurAffinity's servers are being used as a springboard for DDoS attacks. It would explain the sort of ripple effect that's been going on.

Though if their servers were pulled you would think they'd stop at that point.

Though I don't really know if that's the case or if it's really possible as my ability with computers is at a high enough level to get by in the modern world. Not at the level of knowing how to pull off attacks (or prevent attacks) like this.

I mean, don't these angry, white, computer savvy males have gamer women they can harass or something? Or are they just mad that their women would probably rather sleep with a furry than them?

Your rating: None Average: 5 (2 votes)

I suspect there isn't really any direct cause and effect between FA being down and other sites being attacked; but that's my suspicion, not something I can prove.

Your rating: None Average: 4 (1 vote)

It actually is possible for an Denial Of Service attacker to use a networks own servers against it. I won't go through it in a whole lot of detail right now, but basically there are certain commands that you can send to some servers that will cause said servers to spit a bunch of data back out at you. Spoof your IP to make the server send that data to someone else, and you've got yourself something known as a Amplified Denial Of Service Attack. This is used frequently by attackers through a method that involves a ton of time servers and a command called monlist, usually used in conjunction with or by a Distributed Denial Of Service Attack carried out by a botnet (either one they own or have paid for). If whatever assholes are pulling this actually did that, two things can be assumed. One; these people know what they are doing, and two; they'll be doing it until they or their customers are satisfied .-.

Your rating: None Average: 2.3 (3 votes)

A few more links. This may not be directly involved, but came up at about the same time.

http://googleonlinesecurity.blogspot.com/2014/10/this-poodle-bites-exploiting-ss...

http://bits.blogs.nytimes.com/2014/10/15/poodle-bug-marks-third-major-security-f...

and

http://www.techworm.net/2014/10/hurricane-panda-exploiting-zero-day-vulnerabilit...

It is suggested anyone using Windows OS to update at the Windows Site.

Your rating: None Average: 2.8 (16 votes)

Sonious: that last paragraph was uncalled for and racist to boot. Think you could avoid stinking up the comments section like that?

Your rating: None Average: 4 (4 votes)

Only if you think you can use the reply button next time...

Your rating: None Average: 3 (10 votes)

Sonius' comments are particularly hilarious due to the fact that the vast majority of the attacks are coming from China.

Sonius Primer #2: Remember, kids, It's only racism when it's aimed at non-white targets.

Your rating: None Average: 5 (1 vote)

Server farms are probably located in China. Doesn't mean Chinese people are behind the attacks, probably just that they're renting their farms out.

As for the vague GamerGate reference, I don't really get it. Internet trolls simply seek to provoke without any other real motivating drive. Assigning them values to which they don't actually adhere is, funnily enough, a form of anthropomorphization, in that we're trying to translate their behavior into values and motives we understand ourselves.

If the people behind the attack are simply PO'd at furries in general for some misguided reason, that's one thing, but if it's simply a matter of script kiddies getting their kicks by LOLing at all the furries, there's no motivation to be had other than general destruction. "Some people just want to see the world burn." Hopefully, FA & SF will get law enforcement involved somehow, but it's unlikely an investigation will turn anything up. Techie furs ought to troll around in hacker communities to see if anyone is bragging about the takedown - that would be a good lead on who's responsible.

Your rating: None Average: 2.6 (10 votes)

Nah, it's only racism if your making a tounge-in-cheek comment about a group you are not within the subset of yourself.

At least that's the rule I'm familiar with, they seem to vary from person to person.

However, I will give you the caveot that I don't know how many of those of the GamerGate movement are black, so I could be jumping to conclusions. Though I'm thinking right now a black person would have more ire for the St. Louis police department than some random feminists on the internet.

Your rating: None Average: 5 (7 votes)

I know at least one black dev who was doxxed, harassed and fired from work on claims that he ran a child-porn subreddit. The link? Having a similar name. Good enough to get him canned I guess.

In a twist that shouldn't be considered anything but tragic, he's also the guy who popularized the #notyourshield hashtag for members of GamerGate who are minorities, LGBT and women, to protest constantly being dismissed by opponents of the movement as "nonexistent".

So of COURSE the same white-knights who argue no such people exist went after him. Go figure.

Your rating: None Average: 1 (3 votes)

Random feminists on the internet are the same side as the St. Louis police department.

Your rating: None Average: 3 (6 votes)

I got to the point in that article where it was insinuating that 'college campuses have no right to be concerned about or create measures to deal with sexual harassment because poor people don't go to college' and could no longer take your source seriously.

Your rating: None Average: 1 (2 votes)

Liar. "the purpose of affirmative laws is not to broadly change conventional sexual behavior but simply to remove the presumption of innocence", especially harming people who don't go to college, who are most at risk from judicial power abuse.

Your rating: None Average: 5 (6 votes)

perhaps cloudflare wants new clients? ._.

Your rating: None Average: 1.6 (14 votes)

We are anon we are legion,we will not tollrate the sickness that is furry anylonger,we will destory your art,your sites,your dens of filth and beastlity,the sickness of furry shall be purged from the internet and we the people of anon will return to our rightful places among the basement dwelling filth of 4chan.
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-im just messing with you I have no idea whats going on but im pritty shure anons not behind it :p

Your rating: None Average: 3.3 (6 votes)

I blame Internet Terrorists.

Well, I'll be...

Your rating: None Average: 1.9 (12 votes)

I don't like where this situation is heading. It feels like hatred of furries is becoming serious. I get the feeling once these sites are back up, they will be brought down again and again.

We could have done something about furry hate, but nobody took it seriously. Now, we have had a bomb threat at a furry convention and just now hacker attacks on every kind of furry site.

This is bad. This is very, very bad. All this time we thought the haters were not serious.

Your rating: None Average: 2.8 (30 votes)

Maybe if CERTAIN FURRIES stopped shoving porn into everyone's faces and being all IT'S MY LIFESTYLE YOU MUST ACCEPT IT...

Let's face it, that's the reason for all the h8.

Well, I'll be...

Your rating: None Average: 2.3 (6 votes)

I am not one of those "CERTAIN FURRIES." I never draw porn. I see no reason to do so. I could never draw porn to save my life.

Your rating: None Average: 5 (9 votes)

my god, an internet subculture has an obnoxiously vocal minority that takes itself too seriously? someone get Batman on the line.

Your rating: None Average: 2.8 (5 votes)

Short, and to the point. I guess I have no choice but to clap.

Well, I'll be...

Your rating: None Average: 2.1 (16 votes)

You poor thing. It must chap your ass so hard to see other people enjoying freedoms and expanding them for you because they don't live neuter lives.

Porn business in the 1960's helped usher in the civil rights movement by pushing the limits of neuter society. Porn in the internet age pushed tech advances that let you enjoy services like streaming video. You get to wank in the comments section here because demand for other kinds of wanking helped build a community.

Now sites built by demand for porn are turned off for a minute for unknown reasons. You sure don't pay for them. But you're all butthurt against a huge section of their user base for existing. OK then. How about they stop existing and you go build yourself a new site without any. How many of those are there, none?

Your rating: None Average: 3.8 (13 votes)

....I can't help but agree with this to an extent. I've actually started distancing myself from the fandom because of this. I used to argue that the fandom wasn't a sexual orientation, ect, but the truth of the matter is that FA and sites like it are so saturated with porn that I can no longer argue that the stigma isn't true on some level.

I never drew porn either, and I felt like that hurt me in both feedback, and business. Furries don't give a shit about you unless you draw penis, no matter how badly.

Your rating: None Average: 4.1 (7 votes)

Furry fandom meets markets which are not well-served by the organized corporate world - and custom cartoon porn is probably the largest of them. That doesn't mean fans don't like other anthropomorphic things, just that it's what makes artists money (and some like drawing it as well), so they make more of it.

Other under-served markets include serious works about what it would be like if intelligent anthropomorphic animals existed, and custom animal costumes.

Your rating: None Average: 5 (3 votes)

There's no denying that there is a lot of porn on Furry sites but, that's because
it's ALLOWED on the sites in a decently safe environment to post such things
that sells extremely well."Sex Sells" Adult artwork is an extremely easy way
to make money with art, and people can and are using it to their advantage here.

I am a clean artist as well, and I have suffered through the small amounts
of commissioners to pass by, but after you get a little bit more
known, it becomes a whole lot easier to be a clean artist in the fandom.
It just takes some advertising. There are actually a lot of furries who buy sfw art.

Your rating: None Average: 5 (3 votes)

Yea, DA would be swimming in porn if they officially allowed it.

Your rating: None Average: 3.5 (2 votes)

So why can't we have one art site that specifically catered to furries, but doesn't allow adult material? Why in god's name do we need half a dozen different furry art sites that are basically the same exact thing with different skins?

And why is it that other, non-furry art sites have the moral backbone to not allow such material even if it means a little less revenue for them?

My point still stands: Furries give the impression that they are more perverted than the average fandom, and show a lot less personal restraint and tastefulness. It's not that hard of a stretch to say the fandom hasn't helped itself at all concerning the stigma surrounding it.

Your rating: None Average: 4 (1 vote)

We had that: Yerf. It crashed with no backups. Then there was ArtSpots, which was closed by its owners.

Most furries don't take kindly to your idea of morals. It'd still be nice to have a site for clean furry artwork, but it's unlikely to be as popular as mixed sites, which I believe was a significant factor behind ArtSpots' closure.

Your rating: None Average: 4 (4 votes)

Because furry is still a very niche community, whereas other, larger art sites that are "clean only" have a much larger base to draw from.

As for morals, all furry websites have sfw editions or tag filters or ratings settings. Your morals have no place being forced into my life. Please use the numerous tools available to control what you see and please do not demand other people follow your morals. Personally, I think that sites who allow their USERS to choose what to see have a bigger backbone than sites that just cop out and ban things they don't morally agree with.

Your rating: None

I've always felt that I have more restraint as a furry given that I'd be allowed to post porn if I very well wanted to, but still choose not to do so.

I mean, why is it non-furs have to be forced to not post porn in order for them to not post porn? Now there's a lack of personal restraint...

Your rating: None Average: 4.3 (3 votes)

AS much as I dislike the porn and pushing an "alternative lifestyle", attacking sites one may disagree with is uncalled for. I see this as a bigger issue with the lack of civility in the internet social media culture.

The solution to FA and much and I disagree with in the fandom is be the alternative.

Your rating: None Average: 5 (2 votes)

Oh my God, I'm agreeing with Acton on something...

This has been a strange year indeed.

Your rating: None

I'm confused on what you mean Action.
Though, that website and it's porn is already controlled and filtered. Well.. sometimes.

Your rating: None

It is a lifestyle. Nobody can change it, but I can see when someone posts porn without having proper ratings on and then saying that. Haha

Your rating: None Average: 2.3 (3 votes)

You must be fairly new to this furry fandom thing...

Your rating: None Average: 3 (2 votes)

Quite. -7 years to be exact.

Your rating: None Average: 5 (5 votes)

This isn't the first time a furry website (or several) has been attacked, or animosity spewed from an outside source. Far from it.

Your rating: None Average: 3 (3 votes)

Service attacks on furry sites have been going on for nearly a decade and a half, and anti-furry sentiment has been around before the World Wide Web even existed over Usenet usegroups. It's nothing new and it's not going to stop anytime soon.

Your rating: None

Somehow I don't see furry hate escalating to the point of racism, homophobia or misogyny any time soon, but keep in mind what it feels like to be afraid for your safety over something ridiculous the next time you shrug off concerns about such things.

Your rating: None Average: 2.5 (8 votes)

IT COULD BE A STUNT TO FILL THEIR POCKETS WITH DONATIONS AND HOLD THE SITE HOSTAGE.

lets face it anyways the social part of FA is just terrible' you got jerk retard comments everywhere and the retard replies Must have last word wars don't stop.

Your rating: None Average: 3.7 (3 votes)

Bullshit. Their provider InfoRelay themselves are reporting on the DDOS.

Your rating: None Average: 5 (1 vote)

SoFurry is back up now too. Think it's just FA that's still down.

"If all mankind minus one, were of one opinion, and only one person were of the contrary opinion, mankind would be no more justified in silencing that one person, than he, if he had the power, would be justified in silencing mankind."
~John Stuart Mill~

Your rating: None Average: 5 (1 vote)

Nevermind. SoFurry went off again 11 hours after recovery.

"If all mankind minus one, were of one opinion, and only one person were of the contrary opinion, mankind would be no more justified in silencing that one person, than he, if he had the power, would be justified in silencing mankind."
~John Stuart Mill~

Your rating: None Average: 1.9 (7 votes)

Personally i think it is rather suspicious that while Weasyl 'claims' they were affected, they never really went down.
They claim it's their 'superior' web design, yet if anyone visits their site they will see a rather poorly made ui.

thumbnails generated at time of visit.
nav bars at the bottom instead of top.
user pages with full size images.
side bars with only ---- as the only separation between categories.
no categorization of media types, only 'browse all' and a ambiguous 'multimedia' category.

stuff that would make them 'easy' to swamp with a ddos.

Add to that the fact the way they poached users from other sites giving themselves a 'weasyl is a higher class furry site' while not discouraging this attitude from people who were accepted in their closed beta.

I think this was either payed for by them or payed for by one of their admins because if this was say 4chan's normal hate against furs we would of heard them taking credit by now.

Your rating: None Average: 4 (4 votes)

And the conspiracy theories about Weasyl continue...good god, you guys are like 9/11 truthers. Ick.

Your rating: None Average: 4 (1 vote)

"Add to that the fact the way they poached users from other sites giving themselves a 'weasyl is a higher class furry site' while not discouraging this attitude from people who were accepted in their closed beta."

I only ever used the Weasyl forums but last I heard they weren't claiming to be a furry site. They said they were an art site. (Just run by furries, populated pretty much entirely by furries and with mostly furry art...)

"If all mankind minus one, were of one opinion, and only one person were of the contrary opinion, mankind would be no more justified in silencing that one person, than he, if he had the power, would be justified in silencing mankind."
~John Stuart Mill~

Your rating: None Average: 5 (2 votes)

I still don't get why SoFurry is looking at protection costing up to $400, I run sites bigger than theirs using less than $250 and even $72 on one of them for testing, it's not like it's hard if you know what to do in real..

Your rating: None Average: 2.5 (2 votes)

They aren't looking into new hosting, they are looking into ddos protection. If you know anything about ddos, the only real way to prevent your website from being overloaded is to have enough fee space that the attackers essentially can't fill. Buying protection services is like renting a whole lot more server space through another company that will reroute all incoming requests to their overflow servers.

There is no sure fire protection against ddos and I guarantee your $72 website is not safe and protected from ddos attacks.

Your rating: None Average: 5 (2 votes)

I never said anything about new hosting.
And space is somewhat the wrong term to use in this matter as well.

Congratulations, that's why you don't make the protection yourself instead for example buy a server from say ovh (Bad example, but still a good example) and simply "proxy" the traffic via that relying on Ovh's scrubbing instead of nothing.

And I never said I had a site worth $72, that's what it costs to simply have the protection running out counting our backend servers which costs more than $72 as we don't use one physical server for everything.

Your rating: None Average: 1.4 (10 votes)

Good. I hope more attacks happen against furries!

Your rating: None Average: 3 (1 vote)

Weasyl just went down. D:

Your rating: None Average: 3 (1 vote)

Da now acting up very slow access

Your rating: None Average: 3.7 (6 votes)

maps.ipviking.com gives you a nice picture.

This information will clarify that picture - Anon got DDoS'd by corporate interests last week (the whole #GG/SJW nonsense, again.) Anon said "U wot m8?" and brought to bear every botnet across every major ISP. All the furry servers got hit because they were hosted on the same networks both attacking and being attacked. This is an all-out cyberwar right now that the major media isn't covering. You have Corporate America and Anon utilizing USA and UK botnets to attack each other, and occasionally themselves.

This goes further than just a DDoS attack. The lower-right table in that link tells you the type of attacks happening. While the DDoS is the primary attack type (evidenced with http/port 80 being the top attack type) many other attack types listed right below it are used for site penetration. You can hover over each attack type and see the targets of those attacks - primarily cloud hosting services in the USA and UK.

Anon's attack was so bad that it took out four major routers from one cloud provider. A DDoS simply doesn't do that. That company actually had to physically pull those routers and upgrade. Someone knows what they're doing, and knows it well.

I'm also seeing a pattern in the data regarding the attacks that looks pretty suspicious, and gives me the idea that at least a couple of the furry sites that went down were actively, knowingly, and willingly participating in these attacks as well.

Your rating: None Average: 3.7 (6 votes)

The fact this gets hidden versus every other comment is proof that some related site was complicit in this attack.

Your rating: None Average: 2.7 (7 votes)

well, FA deserves it in my eyes, cause the FA staff is to over 60% corrupt and bans peoples for no reason (no i didnt got banned there, but friends of mine got banned there, there was not even a ban reason in their notification after they logged in, just a "your account got suspended" message, normally see you a reason why, its a bit suspecious that those peoples had a lil fight in skype 2 days before and one of them was close befriended with dragoneer and co. xD) that it hitted other companys is on the other hand not nice o-o i mean it took (said the FA journal) some other servers down. even Second life furry sims got targeted with a few griefing attacks like object spam, graphic driver crashers and so on. o.o (i was at Yiff Lounge while it happened ~w~)

i just think some kiddies want to have some fun and it will end like always in a few days. ofcourse damage is done blabla but the bright side is that whoever does it will lose his fun on it sooner or later cause he just wants a few loughts and want to feel great etc. x3

Your rating: None Average: 5 (2 votes)

It could be those twats in Anonymous. I've heard they do this shit on a daily basis just because they hate any and all subcultures.

Your rating: None Average: 1 (3 votes)

I think F-List should be shut the fuck down and taken offline, I was a furry there for 37 years and then fucking banned me because they wanted to make false accusation's saying I was sending threatening hatemail to mods IRL. I will not rest until they are completely shut down and taken offline permanently.

Your rating: None Average: 4 (1 vote)

You were a furry there for 31 years longer than it existed? How'd you manage that?

Your rating: None Average: 2 (1 vote)

In a way, Furry/Anthropomorphism existed for over 100 years.
The terms "Furry" and "Furry Fandom" was only known for a little while.

Your rating: None Average: 4 (1 vote)

While I would agree anthroporphics as a medium of storytelling is as old as story telling itself, and so fans of such usage can be more than 30 years a 'furry' (despite recentness of nomenclature). F-list is certainly not 30 years old... the 'world wide web' internet is hardly 30 years old...

Your rating: None Average: 4 (1 vote)

Oops, sorry I didn't noticed he meant that he was a furry there for 31 years.
I thought he meant that he was just furry it's self for 31 years.

Your rating: None Average: 5 (1 vote)

So now you're sending threatening hate-comments to them publicly? :-)

Your rating: None

lol This might've me loading too many pages at-a-time... Happened to me all the time on Yiffstarr xD

It could be mainly because of this issue juxtaposed with that reason... Any ways e621 now has brand-new firmware/equipment.

//\_//\
[*_^ |
>.<
CHACCARON-MACARONDO!

https://chaccaronmacarondo.tumblr.com/

Macaronnnn ! ,de puedes llo este, GATT LOS! (nigga ta muerte)
https://goo.gl/P8RFxT

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About the author

GreenReaper (Laurence Parry)read storiescontact (login required)

a software developer and Norn from London, UK, interested in wikis and computers

Small fuzzy creature who likes cheese & carrots. Founder of WikiFur, lead admin of Inkbunny, and Editor-in-Chief of Flayrah.