Major service disruption on New Years Eve

Around one third of the websites we’re entrusted to manage had serious connectivity issues yesterday. Sorry about that.

This was caused by a massive and sustained DDoS attack on the London data centre by persons unknown. The service provider (WPEngine) and end-point data centre (Linode) worked very hard to deal with the sustained attack and had it under control in about 6hrs.

However, from just after midday to a little after 6pm yesterday many sites suffered connectivity issues resulting in about 2hrs of downtime in 35 (ish) small periods.

The end-point Datacantre in London has posted in depth about the attack which actually started a week ago, you can read about it here in detail

For context, the attack actually started a week ago using a wide range of attack techniques driven by a huge, and expensive Botnet. Initially, floods of network traffic overwhelmed Linode’s systems in Dallas, Texas, and took parts of its infrastructure down.

By 3am on the Boxing Day, the attack seemed to be dying down, but then the attackers shifted their sights to the company’s other data centers and that’s when it hit London hosted clients. Why did this happen? No idea.

There is still quite a bit of tidying up to do after the event but, mostly, this is stuff we, WPEngine and Linode will do and shouldn’t need your interaction.

I’d like to say sorry for the outage, despite it being beyond our control I know how frustrating loss of service is and I trust it didn’t disrupt your season’s festivities too much.

We have 100% faith in both WPEngine and Linode and don’t plan to change hosts or service providers. But, we do understand those that might want to change so please contact us to discuss the options.

It’s been a long few days for many of us working to mitigate and resolve the issues and I’d like to thank everyone who has helped.

//Martin Dower, CEO & Founder

Ps: Happy New Year