Internet Hosting Providers that Fail to Prepare for DDoS Attacks are Derelict in Their Duties to Care for Their Clients

Linda Musthaler
By | February 28, 2014

Posted in: Hosting Provider DDoS Protection

On February 18, 2014, the online gaming website Wurm was the victim of a DDoS attack. The company posted the following note on its website at the time of its attack:

"Shortly after today's update we were the target of a DDoS attack and our hosting provider had to pull us off the grid for now. We will be back as soon as possible but things are out of our hands since their other customers are affected. As we wrote in a previous news post we are planning on changing hosting anyways which should improve things for the future. We can offer 10,000 euro for any tips or evidence leading to a conviction of the person responsible for this attack."

To get out from under the attack, the operators of Wurm switched hosting providers, which was something they had intended to do anyway. The attack simply accelerated the move. The gaming website was back online February 20—two days after the attack began.

As the note above indicates, the game owners are offering a reward of about USD$13,000 for evidence that leads to convicting the perpetrator(s) of the attack.

What I find astounding about this situation is that the original hosting provider left its client in the lurch in the face of this attack. Wurm was taken offline so as not to affect the hosting company’s other clients. I don’t profess to know anything about this situation, other than what is in the news, but I’m surprised that any serious hosting provider would not have a solution in place to fend off DDoS attacks.

In this day and age, it’s almost a case of dereliction of duty for a hosting service to not plan and prepare for potential denial-of-service attacks. To expect that a firewall – even a next generation firewall – will mitigate an ambitious attack against a client company is simply irresponsible.

Wurm was smart to leave this hosting provider behind, if only to protect its own business interests. Two days of complete unavailability can be quite harmful to a company whose entire business model requires absolute uptime.

As for Wurm’s hapless former hosting provider, the company should evaluate the Corero SmartWall Threat Defense System (TDS) for Hosting Providers and Datacenters. This solution is specifically designed to overcome the challenges associated with a wide range of hosting requirements, thus maintaining highly available applications, mission critical systems and maximum levels of reliability. In other words, doing the right thing for the customers that contract for the hosting provider’s services.

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