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November 30th, 2015

Tux Machines Again Faces DDOS Attacks

Tux Machines logoThe popular website Tux Machines has evidently fallen victim to a DDOS attack that made the site unavailable for part of the day on Friday. The announcement of the attack was initially made in a blog notice posted on the site late Friday morning GMT which opened with the line “Tux Machines has been mostly offline this morning.”

According to the blog post, the attack was at first thought to have been initiated by the Chinese web services company Baidu, but a later update indicated that turned out not to be the case. “…Baidu was [not] at fault but botmasters who used ‘Baidu’ to masquerade themselves, hiding among some real and legitimate requests from Baidu (with Baidu-owned IP addresses).”

At this time, it’s not known who’s behind the attack. Roy Schestowitz, who with his wife Rianne publishes both Tux Machines and the politically oriented FOSS blog site Techrights, told FOSS Force, “We’ve suspected EPO seeking revenge, which makes sense for Techrights, not Tux Machines.” EPO refers to the European Patent Office which recently threatened Schestowitz with civil action over an article which claimed the EPO purposefully gives priority to patent applications from large corporations.

This isn’t the first time the outspoken Schestowitz’s sites have come under DDOS attacks. In September and October of 2014, both sites came under a crippling attack that lasted for several weeks and which left both sites unreachable for long stretches of time. Indications are that this current attack isn’t nearly as damaging, although Schestowitz said that he and his wife had been working to keep Tux Machines functional throughout the weekend.

Many websites use the services of a content delivery network (CDN), in part as protection against all but the most robust DDOS attacks. Schestowitz told us that no CDN is used by either of his sites. “I wrote a lot about this before,” he said. “Performance, Tor, privacy issues, JavaScript and so on. So no, CDNs are out of the question.”

We sent Tux Machines an email this morning to determine the current status but have not received a reply. However, at the time of publication the site was responsive, as was Techrights.

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