I’ve spent the past four days dealing with an attack on my server that caused all of my sites to go offline. Talk about a long weekend. I send out apologies far and wide to anyone who tried to access my sites over the past few days and got nothing but an error message.
I’ll break it all down to tell you how the whole mess happened. Someone, somewhere, decided to try to access a file on my site over a hundred times every minute. This caused a high level of overuse on my server’s CPU which in turn caused it to shut down.
Luckily, I recently switched over all of my sites from my self-managed (dv) account on Media Temple (I hates), to a managed virtual server on Site5 (I loves). I worked with the support team at Site5 to figure out how we could circumvent all of these attacks and we were able to figure out a workaround that is starting to help get my sites working again. There are still some moments when things get a little heavy in regards to memory usage on my server, but I also have signed up with Cloudflare in hopes that they will help get everything back to normal working conditions.
What’s pretty cool about Cloudflare is that they reroute your traffic through their network which helps bounce unwanted visitors, like spambots and evil mutants. It also optimizes your website to ensure faster load times and better performance. I’m still testing out their services but so far it seems to be working.
I’ll be monitoring everything over the next couple of days to make sure that things start to get back to normal.