A report by Doug McVay, Administrator
NewsLanc is a frequent target of brute force hacking attempts. This has been true for the past few years. This happens with a lot of sites so it’s not surprising. Unfortunately, though they are brute force login attempts the attacks sometimes come at such a rate that they become Denial of Service (DDOS) attacks.
The attacks are automated, carried out by what are called “bots,” infected machines that target websites on command. What happens is that bots attempt to login to the site repeatedly at such high rates of speed that the host server slows down and eventually fails to respond.
Our other sites, including DWF, aren’t being hit by these, nor are any other WordPress sites I administer. Brute force attacks on NewsLanc have been going on for the past few years, they’re a big reason we sometimes experience interruptions when trying to post an article. The intensity rises and falls but the attacks have been consistent. For these reasons I believe that these DDOS attacks are not random and that NewsLanc is being targeted.
My guess is that the attacks most likely originate in Russia. Simple automated web crawlers detect that we publish work criticizing the Putin regime. It wouldn’t have to be a sophisticated crawler because in all likelihood Slava Tsukerman’s name is on a list of Putin’s known critics. That triggers a command to Russian government bot networks, which then attack the site. No human need be involved.