A quick note about our server attack

Not how I like to welcome guests into my business. Sorry!

Yes, something is up.

I realize many of you have experienced errors and/or slow load times when visiting this site. There’s a very good reason for it.

Last Friday we were hit with a major bot attack. According to our web guy, it emanated from Russian sources and started as a distributed denial of service (DDoS) attack. This is when tons of fake visitors bombard our server with requests for files. The requests overwhelm the server and it just gives up trying to respond. That attack gave way to a botnet strike that we are still not fully recovered from.

When our server host looked into the problem, they said BikePortland was, “getting totally inundated with bot traffic… an insane amount of IPs [bots] with reports of abuse.” They said there wasn’t much they could do beyond taking some basic steps because, “These bot networks are vast.”

Suffice it to say, this is not what an internet business owner likes to hear about their site! It has all been very frustrating, in large part because I have no idea why BikePortland would be targeted for something like this.

Thankfully, we have survived (thanks to our web guy Steve Bozzone!), but we’re not fully out of the woods yet. That’s why you still might see that black screen when you click onto our site. If you do, don’t worry, it’s friendly! You’re not on a naughty list or anything, even I get that screen when I log in sometimes. It’s just a service we use to help mitigate high server loads.

Hopefully this will all be behind us soon. Steve has made some changes and we will plan to take even more substantial steps over the winter as we continue to polish things up after our major site upgrade this past June.

Sorry for any hassle this has caused you. And as always, please feel free to send us a note via email, text, or various DMs if you experience anything odd.

Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor)

Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor)

Founder of BikePortland (in 2005). Father of three. North Portlander. Basketball lover. Car owner and driver. If you have questions or feedback about this site or my work, feel free to contact me at @jonathan_maus on Twitter, via email at maus.jonathan@gmail.com, or phone/text at 503-706-8804. Also, if you read and appreciate this site, please become a supporter.

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Stephen Keller
Stephen Keller
1 year ago

Yay Steve! Web folks are often underappreciated. Thank for sorting things while under attack. I know it’s frustrating, but it’ll take more than web pirates to put us off our news feed.

Bryan Morris
Bryan Morris
1 year ago

It’s almost as if activists of some sort let the air out of BikePortland’s website. Did they at least leave a note justifying their act of vandalism?

Chris I
Chris I
1 year ago
Reply to  Bryan Morris

Given the timing, it’s hard to say if it’s related to the vandalism story, or just general attacks from Russia in the run-up to the election last week. My money is on the latter.

Nick
Nick
1 year ago

I’ve noticed this page is quite often slow (prior to the attack), have you thought about some caching for pages without comments?

EA
EA
1 year ago

Glad you have good IT support. Backup everything, and never pay ransom. So much of this activity is systematic extortion from organized crime groups, and the more money they can make the more they will keep attacking.

1kw
1kw
1 year ago

Sorry to hear about this. Hope you’re all holding up well.

Charley
Charley
1 year ago

It’s one thing to attack our elections… but to attack our local web-based bicycle and alternative transportation news-blog??? That’s beyond the pale!!!

All kidding aside, I hope this ends soon. I wouldn’t want to live without BP.

FDUP
FDUP
1 year ago

So, ODOT and/or the freight industry are hiring Russian hackers now? LOL!

Opus the Poet
1 year ago

Slow loading has been a problem for weeks, and still is. I suspected something was up when it nearly stopped loading last week, but things are back to the usual slow load now.