OB Rag Under Attack – We Vow to ‘Fight Back’ – With Help From You

by on April 2, 2012 · 10 comments

in Civil Rights, Media, Popular, San Diego

If you had attempted to come online to our site last Friday or Saturday, you would have found a blank screen. For hours, the OB Rag was down – “suspended” – due to an internet attack against us.  That’s right – we’ve been in somebody’s cross-hairs and they disrupted our service – at least 4 times over the last week.  Technically called a DDOS – a dedicated denial of service – somebody swarmed our server with hundreds, maybe thousands of different IP addresses sending us stuff – and in the process overwhelming our server, who then suspends us until the problem is removed.

When we spoke to our tech support late last week and Saturday, he said that the attack is directly targeting the Rag.  He can’t tell us where the attack is originating because the incoming connections change constantly and come from legit IP addresses. The attacker is using zombie or bot computers to accomplish this. Zombie or bot computers are computers like yours or mine that have been breached in some small way and contribute to the attack without the knowledge of the individual user.

We have no proof this is a right wing attack, but it is definitely an attack on us … who else would do this to us? Someone said they wouldn’t be surprised if it was due to our stance against NDAA or that it could be main stream media … who knows, all conjecture at this point.

What to do?

We have been investigating other hosts and are looking at one that specializes in DDOS attacks.  We also looked at several different “Cloud Hosts” but in doing more reading just being in the “Cloud” won’t protect us from being shut down by a provider during an attack. They still have to protect their resources. And approaching a host asking about DDOS attack prevention may keep them from even accepting us on their servers.

One host that does specialize in DDOS attack protection charges $119 a month for their low end hosting, the next level is $139 for twice the bandwidth filtering.  And it appears we may need to start at the lower end and move up if we need to.

We do need help. It definitely looks like we need to do a pricey upgrade to keep publishing. And we then need to call upon you, dear reader, for help.

To aid in your assistance to us, we have set up a “recurring donation” option through PayPal. We are asking readers and supporters to donate between $1 and $10 a month and it will be charged to your credit or debit card each month.  These are small amounts, but they would mean a lot to us, especially if we can get 50+ people to do it.  So, check out these options in our side bar near the top of the column, next to this post.

Plus people can still make one-time larger donations if they wish – using the larger “donate” bar above the PayPal button.

As Doug Porter said: “They say cut back. We say fight back!” We are not giving up. We will continue to publish our views, commentary, and news.

We will survive!

And for inspiration, we’ve included the following:

{ 10 comments… read them below or add one }

avatar Brandon the jerk April 2, 2012 at 10:41 am

The research police might be the source of the DDOS?

It’s not dedicated, but rather a distributed denial of service attack.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ddos#Distributed_attack

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avatar Nunya April 2, 2012 at 11:14 am

I love the OB Rag :)

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avatar Jack April 2, 2012 at 12:39 pm

Aw Geeez Frank….I was just getting ready to sign up for a monthly pledge and you had to go and put up that stupid, hackneyed, disco-is-dead song as inspiration. Now I will have to rethink just where I want to invest my money….

…captcha got me again.

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avatar Not Scared April 2, 2012 at 1:24 pm

Thanks for sharing this, Frank and Patty. Obviously the person (or people) doing this is a coward – a technically savvy coward, but a coward nonetheless. I find it funny and sad that instead of using open discourse, which is invited and encouraged on the Rag, this person feels that their only outlet for expression is through insidious attacks via zombie computers.

Please keep up the good work, no matter the challenges! This is just proof that you Rag folks are doing something (many things) right.

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avatar Michael April 2, 2012 at 2:17 pm

When we found out who did it, maybe Anon can reap us some payback, sometimes yah gotta fight fire with fire. ;) If I weren’t poor due to the capitalist system and a case of under employment (and I have two jobs!) which I also blame on capitalism, I’d donate to the cause of you securing a safe server. Good luck OB Rag!

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avatar unWASHEdwalmaRtthONG April 2, 2012 at 5:11 pm

How about “Freebird” for the official up ‘n runnin’ song?

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avatar John Lawrence April 3, 2012 at 12:32 am

Right wingers put up lots of money for people who want to do things like attack left wing web sites. Some people make their living this way. Also they pay people for comment spamming blogs with vicious remarks. Robert Reich used to have open comments on his site until the right wingers forced him to shut down the comments due to their viciousness and anti-Semitism. He tried to open them up again after a cooling off period, but the same thing happened again so about a year or more ago he shut them down for good. There used to be a whole community of commenters on his site, but right wing spammers ended that. They get paid so much per comment. Thom Hartmann has focused some attention on this phenomenon. He’s the only one whom I’ve heard mention it.

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avatar Martin Eder April 6, 2012 at 11:13 pm

OB Rags is doing the people’s work and deserves the support of lovers of literary liberty.

Activist San Diego had similar issues over the years. Webmaster Donny Dailey found white supremacist sites urging coordinated action against us. More recently we our site crashed a few time in the last couple of weeks too.

In the name of Activist San Diego I will donate monthly to OB Rag. Long may she wave.

Martin

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avatar TJ April 8, 2012 at 8:11 pm

lol good for him whoever it is

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avatar RK Davies April 9, 2012 at 6:27 pm

I am willing to offer my services for free to help mitigate the risk and damage from a Distributed, not Dedicated, Denial of Service attack.

I have experience with network security, the bad guy kind, not the use anti-virus because that’s what some magazine advertisement told me to do kind. Also, I have experience with locking down and administering servers and networks from a few large organizations and corporations (available on request).

If anything, have a real, independent IT person review your situation and provide suggestions based on what you need and NOT on what he can sell to you!

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