Attacks against Great Canadian Grid continue

The Great Canadian Grid is continuing to suffer from on-going distributed denial of service attacks.

Terry Ford

Terry Ford

DigiWorldz grid founder Terry Ford, whose company also provides hosting services, has been working on securing the Great Canadian Grid’s infrastructure since the attacks first began about a month ago. His company does not host the Great Canadian Grid, but does provide OpenSim tweaks and second level tech support.

“The DDOS protection seems to be working and keeping the grid online, but many users are still having login issues while the attacks are happening,” Ford told Hypergrid Business. “The GCG was picked on terribly by the DDOS attacks recently, almost non stop for a week.”

DDOS attacks are popular with cybercriminals who use them to extort money, to cover up other hacking attempts, or to promote themselves to other criminals. The attacks can also be motivated by personal reasons such as revenge or simple vandalism.  According to a recent report by Neustar, 50 percent of all businesses have been hit by distributed denial of service attacks recently.

“DDOS style attacks are very hard to prevent, and very hard to know when they are coming,” Ford said. “Most data centers have only basic protection available, but some have additional equipment and services one can purchase to help in the event of an attack.”

With a DDOS attack, the criminals send more messages to a website — or to a virtual world — than the server can handle. They also block legitimate messages, such as login attempts, from getting through.

“Handling these attacks comes down to economics,” said Ford. “The larger the attack, the more equipment and more protection is needed to contain or mitigate them. Some with deeper pockets are able to buy larger network capacity, additional hardware, and better protection services and obviously, stand a better chance against someone with a small budget like a grid owner, who often times must rely on the basic protection provided by the data center.”

He added that even Second Life, with much deeper pockets than OpenSim grids, has been taken down by DDOS attacks.

Earlier this year, the BBC was taken down by a DDOS attack. And if you’ve been hit once, then the chances of getting hit again are at 82 percent, according to Neustar.

(Image courtesy The Great Canadian Grid.)

(Image courtesy The Great Canadian Grid.)

The Great Canadian Grid is currently set up to handle about 1 gigabyte per second of traffic, which is enough to run the grid with plenty of room left over for growth. But even if the grid upgraded to 10 GBPS, which would be prohitively expensive for most grids, it would not have helped with the recent attacks, Ford said.

The attacks on the Great Canadian Grid used two different techniques, which may indicate that different people or groups were responsible, he said. “But the truth is, it will be very hard to pinpoint who initiated these attacks.”

DigiWorldz grid servers have also been targeted by the cybercriminals, and the grid went offline. There was also some brief down time in late May when the grid installed new equipment to help protect it against DDOS attacks.

In other improvements, the grid was able to get more than 300 avatars on a single ten-by-ten varregion last month.

DigiWorldz, which launched in March of last year, grew quickly due to the reputation of its founders and the low cost of land. Land prices went up, but not by much, as the grid matured. On Wednesday, the grid announced a summer land sale on region packs and servers.

maria@hypergridbusiness.com'

Maria Korolov

Maria Korolov is editor and publisher of Hypergrid Business. She has been a journalist for more than twenty years and has worked for the Chicago Tribune, Reuters, and Computerworld and has reported from over a dozen countries, including Russia and China.

  • Just to clarify what has been reported, While DigiWorldz does provide hosting services for some grids and standalones, as well as some non OpenSim related applications, we do not provide the hardware or hosting services for GCG. We simply provide OpenSim tweaks and 2nd level Tech support. The owner of the Great Canadian Grid has his own hosting relationship with one of the same data centers that we use. DigiWorldz uses a “mix” of self owned and leased equipment located in multiple data centers either in Ohio or Florida.

  • I like to keep watch on some things going on where I spend much of my free time, at least in the social sites. I also never cared if anyone tried to harass me or tried to bully me. I find some amusement in them thinking they are tho…lol

    In any case, I have been watching this close, and said someplace or other that it had to be from within our community. It makes little to no sense that out of the millions if not billions of websites and other internet related stuff that this very, very small corner of the net would be DDOS’ed, but not only that, but a specific grid….most everyone but one grid and SL of course, runs on core OpenSim and most would presumably be open to attack just as GCG has been and is still dealing with.

    As well, they are specifically the one having many members from another grid leave there to go to GCG.

    As well, the competitive nature of some of the commercial type grids (those who have a currency)…is much more deeply corrupting that many know.

    So I want to point out that others are seeing some of this, and applaud them for their insight, and to say I hope they do not keep themselves muzzled because some people will yell, “that’s just a bunch of drama queens”, “it’s ridiculous to think that”…etc…just more drama, they will say.

    But who cares what those types say, who cares that they are being compared to a grid that is using this to further their own grid…that GCG just isn’t up to par technically, and they ARE saying that.

    So I just saw this on the GCG forums (so it is public) as I watch them daily, to wit: (and I am not doing this to be negative in any way, Roddie, if you see this, but to help others, hopefully. If these types of words are not spoken clearly and loudly, the same-o, same-o will keep happening and nothing will be solved).

    You are doing a damn good job Roddie, and your team as well, even despite this adversity.

    http://the-gcg-forum.boards.net/thread/726/updates-sitreps-call?page=1&scrollTo=4977

    THE NOTES OF ALL NOTES lol

    So its been awhile since i last wrote to everyone here on the GCG….and well for good reason.

    Contrary to what some may think….this is obviously a personal attack on GCG….rather its out of jealousy

    or just basically competition by someone who knows alot about us.

    But i want you all to know….that i myself have not givin up on this as you can see.

    And for those who are leaving because they can’t wait it out then thats ok too.

    People are still joining and people will still want to rent from you so if decide to hand in your regions thats up to you.

    I have always wanted everyone to be happy no matter what they decide to do…so don’t worry about that…:)

    Also just so you know…..we have been getting hit not by one DDOS Attack but by two different ddos attacks…which is very rare.

    The point is….knowing this we now know its a group thats trying to bring us down…

    Im sooooo flattered lol….;)…thats a huge compliment in my books…that us little ol grid of 4000 people have made a group of

    competitors get together to bring down this grid lol…wow…no matter what I know i did something right lol.

    As we speak we are still under heavy attacks by both….so now we are having to tweak certain things like regions and tps

    The more they hit us and cant get in then go after something else the more we learn and the more we tweak.

    The funny thing is…no other grid i believe will have this type of DDOS protection…so whatever hurts us now I believe

    will make us stronger of a grid in the end…this is why I have decided to cap our regions down to 800.

    So those who had no faith in us will not be able to purchase any more regions until we dip down from 800 regions.

    Keeping us and getting us back to our original plan of being a nice tight community.

    But I do want to add a video from the move THE MATRIX where Morpheus was talking to his people…which is exactly how i feel.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ju0UOrnWoZk

    • Da Hayward

      Great post and well said. Good job GCG. It is so right in saying that you can only be stronger by this, it is a fantastic attitude to adopt and I believe a lot could benefit by your example

    • 1derworld

      Huh? lol

      • aww, look Joe, you got 3, so far, upvotes…you should be so proud-)) now calm down, boy, calm down…it’s all good…ruff ruff

        • 1derworld

          🙂 ok MineythereownBusiness

          • just teasing you a bit Joe, you know I like to do that to you sometimes, it’s all in fun, as I think you know also-)

            mind my own business, that’s gunna give you even more upvotes, and from the expected sources…see how fun this can be?

            So you make some mind my business comment and then I make some kind of unimportant comment..odd isn’t it?

            anywho, Lawrence is on a removing my posts kick this morning, which I don’t really care about…lol….so catch this one fast!! bark bark

          • 1derworld

            lol 🙂 Luv u 2

          • see, nice break from nonsense, isn’t?-)))))) kissy kissy

  • I think it’s in really bad taste to insinuate that these attacks come from competitor grids (as stated in Terry Ford’s DigiWorldz blog) – And just wondering – In the article above it states ““The GCG was picked on terribly by the DDOS attacks recently, almost non stop for a week.” – but it also says that the DDOS attacks are occuring right now. So to clarify, are the DDOS attacks going on right now? Or are the log in/inventory/stability issues due to the DDOS protection?

    • It is not a matter of bad taste, and obviously you don’t understand that. Do you also think that everyone in the world is good and decent? that there are not unscrupulous people in the world capable of doing “bad things”? Just rhetorical questions.

      Our little niche in the world is susceptible to the same problems (and people causing them) as outside it, in reality.

      I don’t know who you are or what life you live, but thinking something is in bad taste when it is simple reality is a bit naive, agreed?-)

      • ah, nevermind, you also use the name of Birch Wind, someone who loves inworldz above all else…have fun and leave reality to the people who understand it better.

        • I have been a resident of OSgrid, and SL longer than IW. I also self host on metro and have a 2×2 on Kitely. but as usual, youre trolling – eager as always to hate on anyone who enjoys IW. And sorry to say hon, but in the last two weeks I have seen Roddie publicly shame a merchant, using her name and linking to her FB profile. I read his public post in which he said he considered shutting GCG down for a week because people are never happy. And today he announced that he needs peoples passwords when the submit their support tickets because then he can easily go into their account and check out their log in problems. Grid owners do not need to have someone’s private password to log in. He also stated publicly in the last few days that he was capping the regions even lower now so those people who have left their regions due to the past few weeks of limited service wont be able to repurchase. This is all public. So no… thinking that someone is JEALOUS of that sort of success ? lol. That’s ridiculous. Its a gong show. Yes i love IW, i have regions there and in kitely and elsewhere… im not PRO IW and anti GCG. I am pro Professionalism. And with the public rants and raves, the lack of access and Roddie telling people ‘it must be your internet provider’ when hundreds cant access? … public shaming and telling residents to get out and then deleting his own posts? Nothing professional there.

          • (warning, wall of ridiculous words, ruled by my coffee)

            just waking up, got some coffee in me, and a full day ahead of rockin’ and rollin’, sweet-)

            I kinda hoped you would just shutup, I would have deleted my post to you personally but I don’t like doing that, mostly because I like to sometimes look back on them and realize how silly I am, and that others are, mostly the clueless. But of course I also figured you would say something, your type has a hard time not doing that.

            I have been called a troll by trolls, a hater by haters, a drama queen by drama queens…etc, etc, whatever the latest inworldz propaganda machine has dreamed up, all because that is the only way they can figure out, in their small minds, how to contradict the truth I speak of their grid.

            It’s simplistic nonsense, of course, as lowlifes such as them are really not very smart, otherwise they would not waste their time doing it, in the first place. But of course they think they are smart, which makes them easy fodder for people like beth, or her other drama queens, to pet their heads and whisper sweet nothings in their ears (I kind like that play on words, don’t you?)

            It all hardly matters to me, I knew that was coming the minute I realized that beth/elenia was not the person to help residents deal with the real drama queens, because she is the worst of them, there is nothing that can be done about that. That she lies to her partner and others to coverup that side of her and has been extremely cruel to people finally made me realize this, and it took some doing, I don’t like to think negatively about people until I can no longer avoid it the truth of it.

            I had a studied choice then, do I just run and hide, but continue to play this game I enjoy, or do I just leave and read more…lol…since I dislike the idea of what others do ruling my time, I chose to stay.

            Since I am not a wallflower in any sense of the word, I made myself a compromise, and that has evolved into having a fun and carefree time in world, helping people as I can and just relaxing. Then also keeping my lightening rod avie name out in places such as here because I sometimes want to show people how unprofessional and drama queen ridden inworldz is.

            But of course I then have to deal with different types of people, those who just parrot the company line with no questions asked, like your type, and those who want to hide their activities and try to shame me in one way or another.

            But that has never mattered because I do in fact know the truth of beth and her warped activities and have proof of it….would you like to see a small part of it, Birch? (no point in it, you’re the type who thinks something is, and so it is, even if it is staring you in the face, even when you are completely wrong).

            So I don’t really relish having any problems from individuals such as yourself, especially as it is really, in reality, nothing important at all.

            Anywho, lol…back to the article….

            Personally I think, that Roddie is just a plain down home kinda guy who is trying to do just what he has said. to provide a nice virtual place for Canadians and others who like the atmosphere.

            Unfortunately, like many people in this space, he didn’t understand the drama that always comes with commercialism in our small space, and the crap that he was taking in due to that…he didn’t, and may still not, realize that some people, of usually small value, will stick pins in his otherwise peaceful grid, and use voodoo dolls to exacerbate problems out of proportion to reality.

            If Roddie would listen to me (and I don’t think he would and maybe shouldn’t lol), I would recommend he get rid of the commercialistic side of his grid and make his grid that which he seems to really want of it…a relaxing and fun place to log into.

            Commercialism, in this small space, has a very corrupting influence and for several reasons…one being there simply is not enough people to shop at all the stores, to buy content, to make content and make any decent amount of income, which all leads to competition which is ridiculously unneeded in the first place.

            I think he should follow the example of other non commercialized grids such as similar to Francogrid, to Craft, to Metropolis, and others but not necessarily allow others to run their own simulators in his grid…rent his regions to cover costs and the vast amount of drama that has happened there will mostly disappear, and what drama there is would be of a different kind but not of the over commercialized throat cutting kind those few grids that are left have.

            The essential essence of the problem is that the existing commercial grids, especially the closed kind, have been dealing with too many malls for creators to fill them, to many regions for people to rent them, and to little sales to make profits by people who need them, too many clubs for people to fill them…and I know, I was there in the thick of it, at for a time, in inworldz over commercialism, which causes drama and strive that some people can comprehend but that most people just don’t want to deal with, the rank and file users.

            Heck, even their own promoters realize the issues, but of course with blinders on so they can’t actually realize the truth.

            http://elfclan.ning.com/profiles/blogs/how-to-help-inworldz-grow

            In any case, I was a victim of it once also, and victimized by it…fortunately the vast majority of players are decent sorts especially out in the free meta…it is truly wonderful, in reality that is.

            gawd, so many unimportant words…I wish people would just calm down…of course people being people, some just can understand such simple and basic words…au revoir

  • Jim at Inplanetz

    I can only speculate, the current grid my home has been located at for going on 6yrs has something to do with it, i feel the grid founders & main tech guy are involved in it somehow.the gridz is one of the oldest commercial grids while often in the last 6 months they argue that that OS has been poaching the grids growth while even bringing up Great Canadian Grid & DigiWorldz as the main suspects for loss of growth.
    they have stated publicly several times in the last few months that when people see how unstable the competitors are with cheaper land that’s arguably lowor quality experiences, that those folks would end up returning back to the grid.

    While i am not making any statements that are stating in fact that they are involved in unethical business practices, i do find them personally suspect in behavior and unfulfilled promises over the years in my own experiences .

    Just my two cents

  • Sunny Whitfield

    Total avatar shop website was attacked recently. I had to put my site on its own ip address and do a lot of fraud protection. It is getting kind of sad the way things are now.

  • I see in many places you (you as in people) say a competitive grid maybe involved. Could it just be a customer that is upset about something or a friends of them. I wouldn’t think another grid wouldn’t care one way or another about what another is doing. It is more for us to worry about our own residents and grid day-to-day operations. At least we don’t care what others are doing. We all had trouble one way or another. And yes we all get stronger or smarter about how we deal with these problems. I think (my 2 cents) that GCG is doing what they can to fix it and that is all they can do. As a grid owner myself the problems will never stop, it will always be something. I also agree with MineThere. If you let them get under your skins, it only makes them come after you more.”Talk To The Hand” attitude is the best way to deal with them. Keep up the good work Roddie and the other guy. lol

    • Agreed… could be a disgruntled customer… could be a pimple face 14 year old who is home from school and bored… could be one of 2 billion people with Internet access… to imply it is a “competing grid” is just creating narrow minded drama… “people” should grasp that there is a whole world outside of the metaverse we call virtual reality.

  • Personally I think, that Roddie is just a plain down home kinda guy who is trying to do just what he has said. to provide a nice virtual place for Canadians and others who like the atmosphere.

    Unfortunately, like many people in this space, he didn’t understand the drama that always comes with commercialism in our small space, and the crap that he was/is taking in due to that…he didn’t, and may still not, realize that some people, of usually small value, will stick pins in his otherwise peaceful grid, and use voodoo dolls to exacerbate problems out of proportion to reality.

    If Roddie would listen to me (and I don’t think he would and maybe shouldn’t lol), I would recommend he get rid of the commercialism side of his grid and make his grid that which he seems to really want of it…a relaxing and fun place to log into.

    Leave all the drama that comes with it, to grids who enjoy such things…you and your loyal followers will have a much more pleasant time.

    Commercialism, in this small space, has a very corrupting influence and for several reasons…one being there simply is not enough people to shop at all the stores, to buy content, to make content and make any decent amount of income, which all leads to competition which is ridiculously unneeded in the first place.

    I think he should follow the example of other non commercialized grids such as similar to Francogrid, to Craft, to Metropolis, and others but not necessarily allow others to run their own simulators in his grid…rent his regions to cover costs and the vast amount of drama that has happened there will mostly disappear, and what drama there is would be of a different nature but not of the over commercialized throat cutting kind those few grids that are left have.

    The essential essence of the problem is that the existing commercial grids, especially the closed kind, have been dealing with too many malls for creators to fill them, to many regions for people to rent them, and to little sales to make profits by people who need them, too many clubs for people to fill them.

    dats all folx-)

    • Han Held

      “Commercialism, in this small space, has a very corrupting influence and
      for several reasons…one being there simply is not enough people to
      shop at all the stores, to buy content, to make content and make any
      decent amount of income, which all leads to competition which is
      ridiculously unneeded in the first place.”

      I’ve been saying this for years; the numbers simply are not there to make opensim anything commercially viable.

      • And more years than I have since some years back I thought it was all there was…ohhh, for the simple and ignorant mind I had, whoa unto me for the waste of time I endured while my eyes opened-))

        And I agree with you in this point, it’s painfully obvious of course, but many just don’t get it anyway…personally I think some people just thrive on drama so this over commercialized small space some live in inherently gives them what they want, and allows those types to add their own drama flavor to it…bah, they can have it! let them drown in their drama! hehe

        There is also the aspect of a lack of imagination, it hardly takes a leap of faith to be just a clone of SL…why not use this software to create wonders, as many do of course, but why not enjoy it for what it allows us to do, and rather than add drama it will add wonder within people’s eyes.

        It is, of course out here, and I am thankful to be one who gets to see it a bit due to the things I am involved with. The hyperverse connects us and collaborations abound, such as your upcoming 2nd AvatarFest.

        I still think Maria should divide this up, if she absolutely just wants to do articles on them, the non HG from the hypergrid enabled Meta…they want to do their own thing anyway, let ’em I say, and we would not be having near as much drama foisted upon us in this space if so.

        But focus is lacking, which leaves us with all this, from time to time.

        In my own personal viewpoint, if things were the way I wanted (and I wish they were dagnabit!!) and I am not aware of your current thinking about Kitely, Han…but I would leave their market as the commercial side of things, funnel the creators to it, and the grids just deal with the occasional issues, have much less drama, and actually enjoy things much more…it would add the additional benefit of showing the outside world a more interesting place to look into.

        Obviously there is a desire by many to buy content (much because they just don’t know what is out and free) so the Kitely Market can deal with that aspect….no others are needed and can be free to relax and people have choices.

        I just had two people I knew from inwz drop in over the last 24 hours, which is a landfall lol…some old friends tho, I think it is so cool when those show up…ok, this paragraph is off-topic…..

        • Da Hayward

          He He you are so right, the social aspect of these grids is so much more satisfying than any commercial aspects.
          Although there is a need for some commercial activity, I tend to think it does go overboard at times.No doubt we will always see “empire builders” & “self appointed god’s”. I’m just in it to enjoy the grid with my friends and new friends who come along. No place for drama or attacks on anyone…thats just not fun or cool.

        • Da Hayward

          oops! I was not implying anyone who posted here is a empire builder or Self appointed god.

          • oh, of course not Da, no one is like that! god forbid!!-)))

      • There are more stores, clubs, etc than people for sure. Many people come into these grids, whether open or closed and want to create something that they were unable to create in SL due to cost. Some people also assume that because the grid is smaller, they can offer up sub par content and that it will have an audience for it regardless. Definitely not the case, and they will walk away disappointed.
        As for residentials, Ive owned my region in IW for a few years now and the rentals cover a large portion of my land fees. I don’t think you can get rich as a landbaron in any grid outside of SL, but luckily that totally wasn’t my aim. It was only to create a community type residential area for people to call home. I have one in Kitely also and even though it’s new, I already have tenants and that’s quite cool.
        Now as for merchants, some merchants can indeed make some cash. Depending on the merchant, one can still make good money. Emotions, Pulse, Vista, Domus – land cost compared to sales, sales are still going to be decent – yes they are well known and that helps, but they are well known because of their good content.
        Community is wonderful, but some people leave SL so that they can sort of retreat in quiet, and for that, its really nice to have content available. I can put together a lovely community, but not being a builder myself I rely on the awesome items that other people make.

      • Virtual reality SL or OS was a fad when it came to commercialization that will remain a “game”. Commercial viability will only come with the limitation or removal of real life commerce… which won’t happen in my lifetime. And the you will shop at Store A Grid or Store B Grid, virtual malls won’t exist in the all in one building idea like we try to develop in virtual. Just look at all the empty malls in SL… and RL.

  • Talie Tramontane

    Whatever the problem, attacks or not, something has to be done to stop this. People are still stuck, can’t log in and in my case, it’s been like that for a little more than a month now. I’m not exactly angry about it, I know it takes time to take care of these things, but GCG is going to be deserted by it’s customers and it’s not very fair for everyone there. I hope everything will get better in time for all of us to go back on our favourite grid, without any hacker around ^^