DDoS Attack Takes Down Rackspace For Almost 12 Hours

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DDoS attack

London, Chicago, and North Virginia data centres targeted

Managed cloud provider Rackspace was hit by a DDoS on Monday, knocking out the firm’s DNS servers for almost 12 hours.

Rackspace posted a status on its Google+ page stating: “On December 21st, at approximately 23:54 CST, backbone engineers identified a UDP DDoS attack targeting the DNS servers in our IAD, ORD, and LON data centers.

“As a result of this issue, authoritative DNS resolution for any new request to the DNS servers began to fail in the affected data centres.”

Connectivity failures

“Our engineers have taken steps to mitigate impact from this issue, however some of our customers may continue to experience intermittent periods of latency, packet loss, or connectivity failures when attempting to reach rackspace.com or subdomains within rackspace.com.”

Rackspace said its teams then moved the affected DNS infrastructure behind mitigation services, which would normally protect the infrastructure. However, after doing this, Rackspace realised portions of real traffic to the DNS infrastructure were accidentally blocked.

At 12:56 CST on December 22, Rackspace posted another update, claiming the outage was over.

“Our engineers have fully resolved the impact to our DNS infrastructure. After blocking the majority of the inbound DDoS attack earlier in the morning some DNS servers that were sending both legitimate and DDoS traffic to Rackspace were blacklisted.”

Rackspace told TechWeekEurope that the total outage time was 11 hours 5 minutes.

Commenters on the Google+ post had mixed opinions. One poster, Conor Hannah, said: “It is an Rackspaceutter shambles. Rackspace charge premium prices. We pay them hoping that days like this will never happen.”

Others saw difficulty in Rackspace avoiding this sort of attack.

“Thank you very much for all your hard work on this. We know it can be tough to discriminate between legitimate and nefarious traffic coming from the same IP,” said Michael Russo, who said he has been a Rackspace customer for 13 years.

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