10.20.15

Gemini version available ♊︎

Brute Force Cracking Attempts Against Techrights

Posted in Site News at 4:55 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Target: Manchester

Manchester

Summary: An aggressive effort to infiltrate our servers (125,000 times in one day, peaking at particular hours) considerably slowed down the Web site, in spite of overzealous filtering

Negative publicity is something that EPO (as in its management) simply cannot tolerate. Remember how negative paragraphs got removed from news articles after payments from the EPO.

Techrights has, a few times over the years*, come under attacks from numerous entities but at no point in its entire history has it come under the same sorts of attack it must deal with whilst writing about EPO abuses. We suspect there may be a strong correlation between the covered subjects and the willingness to silence the coverage. Almost 80% of our articles are about patents nowadays.

“In our eyes, it was always likely to have been someone connected to the EPO or someone who works there.”Yesterday, as some people with special interest in the EPO told us, the site became unavailable. The volume of attacks on Techrights had gone up at around 11AM (G.M.T.) and at some point it doubled to around 50% of all traffic (it was around 25% of the traffic at 11AM). Brute force was being used to overcome our increasingly sophisticated filters, computationally trained and improved after previous such attacks.

Media articles coming from Germany correctly accuse the EPO of all sorts of things (and they cite Techrights), but all of them fail to mention that the EPO banned the whole site (for the first time ever). This in its own right is quite a scandalous thing. This kind of censorship we know about for sure, but we cannot confirm EPO role in the cyber-attacks. Some legitimate visitors (IP addresses) may accidentally get banned (barred from accessing Techrights) because the server is aggressively filtering traffic right now, in an effort to block the cracking attempts. We may have managed to drive away the attacker/s.

Of relevance to this issue are a few older article. Recall when SUEPO came under DDOS attacks (after and before SUEPO E-mails got altogether censored, meaning that a silencing campaign against unions was already well under way). Recall that Techrights came under DDOS attacks at around the same time (an especially sensitive time), leading to reasonable speculations. In our eyes, it was always likely to have been somebody connected to the EPO or someone who works there. For reasons explained here before, without legal action which compels law enforcement to check routers and zombie PCs (botnets), it is hard to know with high enough degree of certainty who commanders and orchestrates all this (the botmaster or script kiddie).

Let us assume that it’s a deterrence tactic (against the author/Webmaster/system administrator), or an effort to make it harder for people to access the Web site. Looking back at this nuisance, which started late last year, first was potentially an attack on the Web site (to no avail because my daytime job involves dealing with exactly these types of scenarios and we patiently fought back by filtering any attacks), then blocking the entire site (Office-wide), which makes one wonder what can come next, given that EPO staff can still access the site (off duty).

It has been extremely hard to report abuse about the source of yesterday’s attacks on Techrights because the hosting is provided by rogue domain with rogue SSL certificates (or none). It’s incredibly hard to obtain contact details. This was a European cluster that attacked the site. Most of the cracking attempts against Techrights come from this same cluster of machines (with IP pool in Spain); we are talking about exceptionally frequent cracking attempts against the CMS (many hundreds of times per minute) and this bypasses caches and other basic defenses. If Techrights was ever forced into a CDN for supposed protection, no doubt there would be no true privacy for visitors. Without filtering, about one quarter of the traffic in Techrights would be cracking attempts, slowing the site down or taking it down for considerably long periods of time (not just seconds). Wonder who’s doing it? We sure wonder, but as people who do this for a living can tell, it’s a hard question to answer, especially without access to servers and probably a warrant to legally delve into them.

If these attacks ultimately just try to hijack and deface the site (or obtain a list of visitors), then they aren’t doing a very professional job. These must be just brute force login attempts — many attempts at cracking, perhaps with a common passwords dictionary. Because it’s done with brute force (as long as the server can still respond), it induces very high load, as a side effect; hence the server issues. This is similar to what SUEPO reported earlier this year, whereupon it filed a complaint with the authorities.
___
* The first time it happened we lost our Web host and the site was left orphaned, because the Web host was unable and unwilling to help us cope with a DDOS attack on a shared server.

Share in other sites/networks: These icons link to social bookmarking sites where readers can share and discover new web pages.
  • Reddit
  • email

Decor ᶃ Gemini Space

Below is a Web proxy. We recommend getting a Gemini client/browser.

Black/white/grey bullet button This post is also available in Gemini over at this address (requires a Gemini client/browser to open).

Decor ✐ Cross-references

Black/white/grey bullet button Pages that cross-reference this one, if any exist, are listed below or will be listed below over time.

Decor ▢ Respond and Discuss

Black/white/grey bullet button If you liked this post, consider subscribing to the RSS feed or join us now at the IRC channels.

DecorWhat Else is New


  1. IRC Proceedings: Monday, December 06, 2021

    IRC logs for Monday, December 06, 2021



  2. [Meme] Rowing to the Bottom of the Ocean

    The EPO‘s Steve Rowan (VP1) is failing EPO staff and sort of “firing” workers during times of crisis (not at all a crisis to the EPO’s coffers)



  3. EPO Gradually Reduced to 'Fee Collection Agency' Which Eliminates Its Very Own Staff

    Mr. Redundancies and Mr. Cloud are outsourcing EPO jobs to Microsoft and Serco as if the EPO is an American corporation, providing no comfort to long-serving EPO staff



  4. Linux Foundation 2021 Annual Report Made on an Apple Mac Using Proprietary Software

    Yes, you’re reading this correctly. They still reject both “Linux” and “Open Source” (no dogfooding). This annual report is badly compressed; each page of the PDF is, on average, almost a megabyte in size (58.8 MB for a report of this scale is unreasonable and discriminates against people in countries with slow Internet connections); notice how they’re milking the brand in the first page (straight after the cover page, the 1991 ‘creation myth’, ignoring GNU); remember that this foundation is named after a trademark which is not even its own!



  5. Links 7/12/2021: OpenIndiana Hipster 2021.10 and AppStream 0.15

    Links for the day



  6. Microsoft “Defender” Pretender Attacks Random Software That Uses NSIS for installation; “Super Duper Secure Mode” for Edge is a Laugh

    Guest post by Ryan, reprinted with permission



  7. Links 6/12/2021: LibreOffice Maintenance Releases, Firefox 95 Finalised

    Links for the day



  8. “Wintel” “Secure” uEFI Firmware Used to Store Persistent Malware, and Security Theater Boot is Worthless

    Guest post by Ryan, reprinted with permission



  9. No Linux Foundation IRS Disclosures Since 2018

    The publicly-available records or IRS information about the Linux Foundation is suspiciously behind; compared to other organisations with a "tax-exempt" status the Linux Foundation is one year behind already



  10. Jim Zemlin Has Deleted All of His Tweets

    The Linux Foundation‘s Jim Zemlin seems to have become rather publicity-shy (screenshots above are self-explanatory; latest snapshot), but years ago he could not contain his excitement about Microsoft, which he said was "loved" by what it was attacking. Days ago it became apparent that Microsoft’s patent troll is still attacking Linux with patents and Zemlin’s decision to appoint Microsoft as the At-Large Director (in effect bossing Linus Torvalds) at the ‘Linux’ Foundation’s Board of Directors is already backfiring. She not only gets her whole salary from Microsoft but also allegedly protects sexual predators who assault women… by hiring them despite repeated warnings; if the leadership of the ‘Linux’ Foundation protects sexual predators who strangle women (even paying them a salary and giving them management positions), how can the ‘Linux’ Foundation ever claim to represent inclusion and diversity?



  11. Microsoft GitHub Exposé — Part IX — Microsoft's Chief Architect of GitHub Copilot Sought to be Arrested One Day After Techrights Article About Him

    Balabhadra (Alex) Graveley has warrant for his arrest, albeit only after a lot of harm and damage had already been done (to multiple people) and Microsoft started paying him



  12. The Committee on Patent Law (PLC) Informed About Overlooked Issues “Which Might Have a Bearing on the Validity of EPO Patents.”

    In a publication circulated or prepared last week the Central Staff Committee (CSC) of the EPO explains a situation never explored in so-called 'media' (the very little that's left of it)



  13. Links 6/12/2021: HowTos and Patents

    Links for the day



  14. IRC Proceedings: Sunday, December 05, 2021

    IRC logs for Sunday, December 05, 2021



  15. Gemini Space/Protocol: Taking IRC Logs to the Next Level

    Tonight we begin the migration to GemText for our daily IRC logs, having already made them available over gemini://



  16. Links 6/12/2021: Gnuastro 0.16 and Linux 5.16 RC4

    Links for the day



  17. Links 5/12/2021: Touchpad Gestures in XWayland

    Links for the day



  18. Society Needs to Take Back Computing, Data, and Networks

    Why GemText needs to become 'the new HTML' (but remain very simple) in order for cyberspace to be taken away from state-connected and military-funded corporations that spy on people and abuse society at large



  19. [Meme] Meanwhile in Austria...

    With lobbyists-led leadership one might be led to believe that a treaty strictly requiring ratification by the UK is somehow feasible (even if technically and legally it's moot already)



  20. The EPO's Web Site is a Parade of Endless Lies and Celebration of Gross Violations of the Law

    The EPO's noise site (formerly it had a "news" section, but it has not been honest for about a decade) is a torrent of lies, cover-up, and promotion of crimes; maybe the lies are obvious for everybody to see (at least EPO insiders), but nevertheless a rebuttal seems necessary



  21. The Letter EPO Management Does Not Want Applicants to See (or Respond to)

    A letter from the Munich Staff Committee at the EPO highlights the worrying extent of neglect of patent quality under Benoît Battistelli and António Campinos; the management of the EPO did not even bother replying to that letter (instead it was busy outsourcing the EPO to Microsoft)



  22. IRC Proceedings: Saturday, December 04, 2021

    IRC logs for Saturday, December 04, 2021



  23. EPO-Bribed IAM 'Media' Has Praised Quality, Which Even EPO Staff (Examiners) Does Not Praise

    It's easy to see something is terribly wrong when the people who do the actual work do not agree with the media's praise of their work (a praise motivated by a nefarious, alternate agenda)



  24. Tux Machines is 17.5 Years Old Today

    Tux Machines -- our 'sister site' for GNU/Linux news -- started in 2004. We're soon entering 2022.



  25. Approaching 100

    We'll soon have 100 files in Git; if that matters at all...



  26. Improving Gemini by Posting IRC Logs (and Scrollback) as GemText

    Our adoption of Gemini and of GemText increases; with nearly 100,000 page requests in the first 3 days of Decembe (over gemini://) it’s clear that the growing potential of the protocol is realised, hence the rapid growth too; Gemini is great for self-hosting, which is in turn essential when publishing suppressed and controversial information (subject to censorship through blackmail and other ‘creative’ means)



  27. Links 4/12/2021: IPFire 2.27 Core Update 162 and Genode OS Framework 21.11

    Links for the day



  28. Links 4/12/2021: Gedit Plans and More

    Links for the day



  29. Links 4/12/2021: Turnip Becomes Vulkan 1.1 Conformant

    Links for the day



  30. IRC Proceedings: Friday, December 03, 2021

    IRC logs for Friday, December 03, 2021


RSS 64x64RSS Feed: subscribe to the RSS feed for regular updates

Home iconSite Wiki: You can improve this site by helping the extension of the site's content

Home iconSite Home: Background about the site and some key features in the front page

Chat iconIRC Channel: Come and chat with us in real time

Recent Posts