Feeds

AT&T unblocks 4chan after DDoS scare ban

Smut site restored

Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction

Updated: US internet service provider and telco AT&T has restored access to 4chan, blaming a denial of service attack, not smutty content, for the temporary ban.

4chan has been under attack for some weeks now - as revealed on its status page here.

A spokesman for AT&T said:

Beginning Friday, an AT&T customer was impacted by a denial-of-service attack stemming from IP addresses connected to img.4chan.org. To prevent this attack from disrupting service for the impacted AT&T customer, and to prevent the attack from spreading to impact our other customers, AT&T temporarily blocked access to the IP addresses in question for our customers.

This action was in no way related to the content at img.4chan.org; our focus was on protecting our customers from malicious traffic. Overnight Sunday, after we determined the denial-of-service threat no longer existed, AT&T removed the block on the IP addresses in question. We will continue to monitor for denial-of-service activity and any malicious traffic to protect our customers.

According to this discussion - thanks to a commenter on the original story - other ISP engineers took similar action because of a distributed denial of service attack. The engineer in this case claims he took the action in agreement with the owner of 4chan's hosting service.

Denial of service attacks take several forms but are a way of overwhelming a webserver, usually, with massive numbers of requests so that it slows or goes offline completely. Attackers can also use automated reply responses to go after other sites by faking the source address information. Update:

4chan's administrator moot, also of course Time magazine's most influential man of 2009, posted an update last night to explain what happened.

He said as a result of action taken to fight off a DDOS attack some AT&T customers were getting errant traffic from a 4chan switch.

Moot wrote: "In the end, this wasn't a sinister act of censorship, but rather a bit of a mistake and a poorly executed, disproportionate response on AT&T's part. Whoever pulled the trigger on blackholing the site probably didn't anticipate [nor intend] the consequences of doing so.

We're glad to see this short-lived debacle has prompted renewed interest and debate over net neutrality and internet censorship."

Finally he added: "PS: If any companies would like to hook us up with some better hardware, feel free! The architecture we've got powering this large and influential beast is really quite embarrassing. ( ._.)"

Any Reg readers got any kit going?®

High performance access to file storage

More from The Register

next story
Virgin Media so, so SORRY for turning spam fire-hose on its punters
Hundreds of emails flood inboxes thanks to gaffe
A black box for your SUITCASE: Now your lost luggage can phone home – quite literally
Breakfast in London, lunch in NYC, and your clothes in Peru
AT&T dangles gigabit broadband plans over 100 US cities
So soon after a mulled Google Fiber expansion, fancy that
AT&T threatens to pull out of FCC wireless auctions over purchase limits
Company wants ability to buy more spectrum space in auction
Google looks to LTE and Wi-Fi to help it lube YouTube tubes
Bandwidth hogger needs tube embiggenment if it's to succeed
Turnbull gave NBN Co NO RULES to plan blackspot upgrades
NBN Co faces huge future Telstra bills and reduces fibre footprint
NBN Co plans fibre-to-the-basement blitz to beat cherry-pickers
Heading off at the pass operation given same priority as blackspot fixing
NBN Co in 'broadband kit we tested worked' STUNNER
Announcement of VDSL trial is not proof of concept for fibre-to-the-node
prev story

Whitepapers

Mainstay ROI - Does application security pay?
In this whitepaper learn how you and your enterprise might benefit from better software security.
Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction
Based on their experience using HP ArcSight Enterprise Security Manager for IT security operations, Finansbank moved to HP ArcSight ESM for fraud management.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Top three mobile application threats
Learn about three of the top mobile application security threats facing businesses today and recommendations on how to mitigate the risk.
3 Big data security analytics techniques
Applying these Big Data security analytics techniques can help you make your business safer by detecting attacks early, before significant damage is done.