Feeds

Hackers put the futility back in Sun's grid utility

DOS attack - or the Slashdot effect?

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

Just hours after it went live, Sun Microsystems' grid computing service was felled by hackers using a denial-of-service attack. Sun, however, won't reveal any hints about the culprits or confirm whether or not it has contacted law enforcement about the attack.

Sun yesterday turned on its $1 per chip per hour service that lets businesses send their large, parallelized tasks to a Sun run cluster for processing. Sun thought that, after 18 months of preparing this service, it had worked through all the kinks. Not so.

Hackers crippled a trial portion of Sun's service where potential customers would tap into a text-to-speech software package and see how the grid worked. Sun had to set up a registration process on-the-fly for this trial service in order to sidestep the denial-of-service attack.

"There were some minimal DOS attempts early yesterday which is normal for any internet service," said Sun's director of utility computing Aisling MacRunnels. "The problem was resolved quickly. The Sun Grid was not compromised and there was no degradation of service for users inside the Sun Grid."

While Sun plays off the DOS attack as standard dot-com business, government observers may be less impressed. The US blocked the initial launch of Sun's grid out of security fears, suggesting that terrorists might design nuclear weapons or model bio-weapons attacks on the the cluster after using PayPal to rent the processors. (We hear PayPal is huge with the Axis of Evil) Sun got past such fears by making the grid service a US only thang for the time being.

Few companies will publicly out their suspects in hacking incidents, so it's no surprise that Sun is mum on that front. What is unusual is Sun's reluctance to disclose if it has in fact contacted law enforcement about the breach.

"We don't comment on privacy issues," Sun said.

Need we remind the company that it "has no privacy" and should "get over it."

One may be tempted to think that the DOS attack was the innocent consequence of news stories and Slashdot pointing to network.com, and not a group of rogue hackers, but banish such impure thoughts at once. ®

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

More from The Register

next story
The cloud that goes puff: Seagate Central home NAS woes
4TB of home storage is great, until you wake up to a dead device
Azure TITSUP caused by INFINITE LOOP
Fat fingered geo-block kept Aussies in the dark
You think the CLOUD's insecure? It's BETTER than UK.GOV's DATA CENTRES
We don't even know where some of them ARE – Maude
Intel offers ingenious piece of 10TB 3D NAND chippery
The race for next generation flash capacity now on
Want to STUFF Facebook with blatant ADVERTISING? Fine! But you must PAY
Pony up or push off, Zuck tells social marketeers
Oi, Europe! Tell US feds to GTFO of our servers, say Microsoft and pals
By writing a really angry letter about how it's harming our cloud business, ta
SAVE ME, NASA system builder, from my DEAD WORKSTATION
Anal-retentive hardware nerd in paws-on workstation crisis
prev story

Whitepapers

Choosing cloud Backup services
Demystify how you can address your data protection needs in your small- to medium-sized business and select the best online backup service to meet your needs.
Getting started with customer-focused identity management
Learn why identity is a fundamental requirement to digital growth, and how without it there is no way to identify and engage customers in a meaningful way.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence
Download Choosing a Cloud Hosting Provider with Confidence to learn more about cloud computing - the new opportunities and new security challenges.
Intelligent flash storage arrays
Tegile Intelligent Storage Arrays with IntelliFlash helps IT boost storage utilization and effciency while delivering unmatched storage savings and performance.