DDOS ATTACKS AND YOU!
What is a DDOS attack?
DDOS stands for ”Distributed Denial of Service” attack. In laymen’s terms, a DDOS attack is a flood of requests directed at a single target, with the intent of shutting the target down by overwhelming it. The perpetrator typically uses hundreds or thousands of hosts from all over the world to attack the target, making it impossible to stop the attack simply by blocking a single source.
When a cooperative member is the target of a DDOS attack the whole network (including all member connections to Telemedia) slow to a crawl, and many services stop working altogether. While state-of-the-art preventative DDOS measures are in place with our upstream provider, they still take some time to kick in. Because of this, and because a single DDOS attack can take down our entire network, we take these attacks very seriously. Customers who are targeted by DDOS attacks are notified by Telemedia, so that they can take steps to stop the attacks. Continued attacks could result in account suspension, and ultimately account termination. While we don’t wish to disconnect any member in good standing intentionally, we (like other Internet Service Providers) are forced to do so to preserve the integrity of our network.
What you can do if you are targeted by a DDOS attack:
If you are targeted by a DDOS attack, you will be contacted by Telemedia personnel. You will likely be sent to this page to read about DDOS attacks, and our DDOS policy. Following the recommendations on this page will stop 99% of DDOS attacks. Please read this information carefully, and follow the steps below to ensure future attacks do not occur:
Take These Simple Steps to Stop DDOS Attacks:
- Stop Contentious Online Behavior: DDOS attacks can happen for a variety of reasons, however the majority end up being “social” ones. Ensure members of the household have not acted contentiously with others while online. If they have, make sure the behavior stops.
- Halt Gaming Activity: Check with household members to see if there are any online gamers. We see a high occurrence of DDOS attacks associated with online gaming (usually PC, XBox and PS4). Tournament styled PS4 and X-box competitors are often targeted by DDOS attacks to take them out of the competition. Unplug your gaming console and leave it off-line. Permanently if necessary.
In years past DDOS attacks were very difficult to orchestrate. Only the most technically savvy network and software engineers were capable of launching them. But today, anyone with a credit card can “order” a DDOS attack online. Websites that offer targeted DDOS attacks for a small sum of money are becoming increasingly popular. We believe this has lead to an increase in the use of DDOS attacks (typically where undesirable online behavior is followed with an attack by the offended party). Revenge, blackmail, and activism are normally the motivation behind DDOS attacks aimed at businesses. Bottom line: DDOS attacks usually happen for a reason.
Telemedia DDOS Policy
Once an attack starts, simply shutting down the affected end point does not immediately clear the problem. While our anti DDOS system is state-of-the-art, it still takes some time to kick in. This means all of our customers are affected when one customer is attacked. Because of this, Telemedia’s policy is to “black hole” the data packets of members who are under DDOS attack. Members whose packets are black-holed will appear to have been disconnected from the Internet. Once the attack has stopped, the black hole will be lifted, and the affected customer will be back on-line.
Unfortunately, Telemedia can not let customers come under constant attack because of the effect a single attack has on our entire base of customers. Customers under attack will be initially notified so they can respond appropriately to prevent future attacks. However, after 3 warnings, if the attacks still continue the black hole period will be lengthened to 48 hours. This means the customer being attacked will in fact be off-line for 48 hours. For this reason it is imperative to follow the steps listed above to ensure further DDOS attacks do not occur.
Here’s what our DDOS Policy Calls for:
First and Second Attack – Telemedia will contact the customer under attack as a courtesy. Customer will be back on-line once the attack has stopped. Customer should follow the steps listed above to prevent future attacks, including taking gaming consoles or other affected devices off-line (permanently, if necessary).
Third Attack – Telemedia will contact the customer under attack as a courtesy. Customer will be back on-line once the attack has stopped. Customer will be reminded that future attacks will result in a 48 hour blackhole cooldown period. Customer should follow the steps listed above to prevent future attacks, including taking gaming consoles or other affected devices off-line (permanently, if necessary).
Fourth (and future) Attacks – Telemedia will not proactively contact the customer. Customer will be back on-line once the attack has stopped and the 48 hour cooldown has passed. Customer should follow the steps listed above to prevent future attacks, including taking gaming consoles or other affected devices off-line (permanently, if necessary). Customer’s Internet service is now at risk and may be permanently shut down (at the discretion of management) if the attacks continue.