Server Downtime

Sorry for the downtime. We're trying our best.

11 January 2018 by Garry Newman (29 Comments)

Some of our official servers have been up and down (but mostly down) for a few days, which has understandably lead to quite a bit of frustration and grief for the people trying to play on them.

This downtime was a result of a DDOS attack.

We haven't acknowledged or mentioned it before now. From that the assumption is that we don't know that the servers are down, or that we're not trying to fix them.

The truth of the matter is DDOS attacks tend to get worse if you mention them. The attacks like this are usually for attention. By loudly proclaiming that this 14 year old kid is managing to inconvenience a business and thousands of its customers - we'd be giving them exactly what they want.

That said, in cases like this where the attacker is obviously not getting bored and stopping, it's probably a good idea for us to pop up and explain what's happening, that we're trying our best to handle it, and apologize for the downtime.

We use a few different hosts to host our servers right now. A couple of the hosts null route the server when they detect an attack. Nullroute means they basically take it offline. This nullroute can last from anywhere between a couple of hours to a whole day.

This is obviously great for attackers. They only have to attack the server for a few seconds and then the server is offline for a whole day.

We have moved most of these servers away from those hosts, and are in the process of moving the rest quite soon.

The attack we saw over the past few days was exploiting the Base Filtering Engine on our Windows Servers. It meant that with a relatively low amount of packets the attacker could take and keep the server offline.

As you can appreciate we've been doing a lot of detective work over the last few days, and it took us a while to realise this was the issue. We've protected or are in the process of protecting our servers against it now.

Please don't stop this from keeping you bitching about server uptiume. It's important. We shouldn't be providing servers if they're going to be down for extended periods of time. We want to know if we're wasting money paying for servers that are always down.

But please keep in mind these reasons for us keeping quiet. If a server gets attacked and we can bring it back up without the attack being acknowledged, then the attacker loses and is less likely to continue. We do care, we are working away in the background always.

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