For the second time in about a week the Great Canadian Grid has been hit by DDoS cyber-terrorists. Last week “When the Great Canadian Grid was taken offline to end the attack, the attackers then moved to the DigiWorldz grid,” said DigiWorldz grid founder Terry Ford, also known as Butch Arnold in-world. You can read about last weeks' attack in Hypergrid Business "Great Canadian Grid, DigiWorldz Attacked".
This weeks' attack began around 8:45am GCG Time according to a GCG Forums posting by Roddie Macchi (RL Rod MacDougall), grid owner "The GCG has been attacked again....this ongoing criminal behavior will be dealt with immediately...my apologies for not having a better service to protect us from all this..There is something in the works but it could take days to do. Again I apologize. Please keep an eye on our ONLINE OFFLINE at the bottom of our website page to see if we're back up and running."
For those of you who do not know what a DDoS attack is about, there is a great video at this link called "Understanding DDoS attacks" that explains what happens during an attack. For the longer detail you can log onto Wikipedia that states "In computing, a denial-of-service (DoS) attack is an attempt to make a machine or network resource unavailable to its intended users, such as to temporarily or indefinitely interrupt or suspend services of a host connected to the Internet. A distributed denial-of-service(DDoS) is where the attack source is more than one, often thousands of, unique IP addresses. It is analogous to a group of people crowding the entry door or gate to a shop or business, and not letting legitimate parties enter into the shop or business, disrupting normal operations." That page can be found here.
The attack, last week, left the Great Canadian Grid offline for over twenty-four hours as their team worked tirelessly to get things up and running for their over 3,500 members.
"It is cyber-terrorism plain and simple" said Winter Silversmith (aka Kevin M. Klerks) CEO of the virtual company Manitou Tourism. "We own six regions in GCG with over a dozen residents and almost two dozen retailers, they depend on us to be there with the lights on. An attack against the GCG is an attack against our way of life."
Cyber-terrorism, even against gaming sites, is still terrorism. It is crippling not only to the players and grid owners but to our global economy. Many times people look at this as just a "gaming site with a bunch of nerds pissed off because they can't have pixel sex with other avatars for a day" said Winter Silversmith "but what they don't realize is that smaller attacks like this can be hackers testing their programming skills to see if their programs are ready to attack larger sites like a bank or a nuclear plant. All cyber-terrorism should be taken very seriously."
Appearing before the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs in Washington, D.C., on September 10, 2014, Robert Anderson, Jr. F.B.I. Executive Assistant Director said "The impact of botnets has been significant. Botnets have been estimated to cause more than $113 billion in losses globally, with approximately 375 million computers infected each year, equaling more than one million victims per day, translating to 12 victims per second." You can read the entire statement here.
Great Canadian Grid members are not easily swayed by these hackers, a look at the GCG Forums and Google+ groups show a continued strong support even during the downtime of the grid. A few of the comments included "I hope they are able to catch the dummy(s) - This is our home - a great place and great people - oh and a great owner and founder! We will not be run off!" said one G+ member, while another G+ member said "We should consider a 'class action' against the perpetrators. Sue them for losses, as players! That is in addition to the criminal charges."
Sadly, this also brings out the haters and jealousy from others. Too many times an attack against a website is done by someone who is either a competitor or feels they have been wronged in some way by the service. For the Great Canadian Grid this list continues to grow as residents of other grids, including SecondLife and InWorldz, seek refuge in the GCG. Roddie Macchi did not offer any specific comment on this indicating, however, that the actions of GCG are not meant to be a strategy against other grids. " It’s what I love to do. I love looking after others and helping others. I’m good at it, probably because I love people." Roddie Macchi said in an interview with the Corran Journal on Region Capping Indepth in March 2016. "I don’t go to other grids, nor do I go on their forums. I keep to myself and look after my grid and our residents, everyone on my grid is like family to me. Why would I want to go anywhere else?"
Great Canadian Grid members who want to keep up to date on technical issues in the GCG should join their members forum at this link. Roddie's pledge for transparency allows non-members to join and read the GCG Forum any time they want.
UPDATE: We just received an update to this story posted by Roddie Macchi on the GCG Forums "GREAT NEWS!..due to the recent DDOS attacks, i have had to take measures to prevent more attacks on the GCG. We are currently still under attack thus why our grid is still down. However, we have been advised to forego a special Op which will require testing over the next few days. I will keep everyone informed throughout this process here and on our Forums. Again I'm sorry for the inconvenience and you not being able to "go home". We are working together with our provider on this new implementation and may take several days. I will know more soon. Thank you! Trust me...i am going to press charges on those responsible."
UPDATE: May 16, 2016 With additional security measures in place the Great Canadian Grid opened its' doors earlier today following the second DDoS attack in as many weeks.
~Winter Silversmith, Editor Corran Journal
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(aka Winter Silversmith)