Disabled war veteran hosts Disabled RIAA website

Plucky "Small Disadvantaged Business" fights DDoS attacks

Ciarán Tannam reports that the Recording Industry Association of America's website has been down for a week, again, and did we know why? I think we can help.

At the end of January, the RIAA gave responsibilities for the site to a hitherto little-heard-of operation in Rockville, MD called Tomorrow's Solutions Today, or TST Inc.

The site is run by one Kevin Dziekonski, and the RIAA appears to be his very first live customer.

In this directory listing, Dziekonski describes himself as a "Service Disabled Veteran" and TST as a "Small Disadvantaged Business".

Before the latest denial of service attack took down the site, TST was running an out-of-the-box edition of Internet Information Server 5.0. It also appears to be run from a residential address - Dziekonski's home.

After an RIAA outage earlier this month, Dziekonski responded to reporters' queries by explaining that "the site is hosted in a couple locations and need to have redundant communications between them. The one thing in common they share that cannot be avoided is Verizon." So the redundancy does, er... not extend to having two hosting companies.

It's a pleasure to see veterans finding a rewarding life outside the service. The brown cardboard signs at many an urban intersection here show that life outside the service can be tough, and discrimination abounds.

And it's particularly gratifying to see the RIAA extending the working life of service personnel at one end of the age scale, when it's doing all it can to truncate the careers of service personnel at the other end. Those Navy cadets found guilty of pirating MP3s face a military trial, and in all likelihood, will be dismissed from the service.

But the puzzle remains:

How did one of the most reviled, and therefore attacked web sites in the world end up in the hands of an apparently inexperienced operator?

Calls from The Register to Dziekonski had not been returned at time of publication. And if the RIAA's VP of Corporate Subtlety, Amy Weiss, would like to provide an explanation, we will of course print it.

In this case, to paraphrase Ms.Weiss, the truth promises to be even more interesting than the facts

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