Wednesday, September 11, 2013

How the City of Toronto DDOS's itself.

I'm a firm believer that most people who don't understand something just haven't had it explained to them in a way they understand.  The Internet is such an item that frquently causes people to not understand certain aspects, and especially a thing like DDOS ("Distributed Denial Of Service") attacks - often just shortened to "Denial of Service" attacks.

This morning I witnessed the Toronto Parks and Rec registration process - where thousands of frustrated people are coordinated to hit the limited city resources via phone, web, etc, all in unison at 7am.  Naturally, the city web servers can't cope with this load, the telephone lines are jammed and as a result of this, the original intent of the service is compromised by the sheer weight of simultaneous requests put on it that stops it functioning at all.

That is identical to how DDOS attacks happen, where lots of computers are employed to simultaneously request something from the internet site that activists or hackers want to bring down.

Naturally, as a technology savvy guy, I just observed the entire process with disbelief and shook my head at it as it unfolded, because by running their registration process in this manner, they're causing a DDOS attack to take place on themselves.  Put another way, if you have limited resources, you don't invite everyone to use them all at once - you're just asking for trouble.  

What would have made more sense is you register your name over a long period, then names are drawn by lottery.

Anyway, you should now know what a denial of service attack is if you didn't understand the concept before, so something useful came from this circus of a process.