A bad thing

July 31st, 2012 at 3:00 pm by David Farrar

Stuff reports:

A website dedicated to opposing gay marriage has been removed from the internet the day it was launched after it was the target of one of the “largest unprecedented attacks” on a website in New Zealand.

The “Protect Marriage” website, launched today by Family First, crashed in a matter of hours as a result of a “large-scale denial of service attack” according to the site’s webhost.

It was back up and running at 1pm, but had been removed completely by the webhosting company later this afternoon, to “protect its own servers”.

“Due to large scale Denial of Service attacks against this domain it has been decided to ensure the stability and security of our servers and network, this account has been removed,” said a message from 24/7 Hosting.

This is a very bad thing. New Zealanders should hear both sides of a debate, not have one side get closed down under a DOS attack.

If I had a server myself, I’d offer to host the site. Is there an ISP out there that believes in free speech and thinks it can handle such attacks?

I’m especially annoyed the site has gone down, because it means I can’t fisk it :-)

Tags:

56 Responses to “A bad thing”

  1. realize (21 comments) says:

    I think your right to free speech should be dependent on your figuring out how to speak. There are dozens of services that can host a website that are quite resistant to DOS attacks. Try squarespace.com for starters.

    On another note, “largest unprecedented attacks” doesn’t really make sense. If it was unprecedented then of course it was the largest, not “one of” the largest.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  2. barry (1,317 comments) says:

    So this is how the gay lot think things should be managed – deny others from their point of view.

    Sounds rather leftish/communist to me. Im starting to get a bit pissed off with this lot of shirt lifters

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  3. Aredhel777 (290 comments) says:

    Well DPF as someone who is left on economics and right on social values I disagree with you on almost everything under the sun, but I do quite admire your consistent stance on free speech. Prolife is one thing, but homosexuality is sacred ground!

    (I have to say when I sardonically stated in the other thread that I expected an imminent post from you on this incident I was being completely sarcastic, so I am really quite surprised and impressed.)

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  4. Christopher (425 comments) says:

    Such a site should be hosted on a virtual server on a large cloud. Two examples spring quickly to mind: wordpress.com and Amazaon’s EC2. Neither of those networks would even notice a massive DDOS attack.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  5. davidp (3,588 comments) says:

    These pro-tolerance people can be so intolerant.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  6. Csanad (3 comments) says:

    Hi David,

    It is very sad indeed. Although I could host it, I would prefer not to, on account that I’m not agree with them. Instead I would offer my advise. The hosting company or the site admin should use Cloudfare (http://www.cloudflare.com/plans), this is what I would use if I would host them. This service exactly what they need, and I know for fact that it could resist even the most vicious and large scale attack. (Unfortunately one of the most disgusting Hungarian nazi portal using as well.)

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  7. tristanb (1,127 comments) says:

    My main concern is over what the hell Stacey Kirk means when she writes:

    one of the “largest unprecedented attacks”

    I assume she’s quoting the hosting server’s message. But “one of the largest” and “unprecedented” don’t seem to sit right together.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  8. mikenmild (11,719 comments) says:

    Yes, tristan. The phrase is in speech marks, but no speaker is identified. So even if Stacey Kirk is repeating someone else’s stupid phrasing, she is still guilty of woeful English.
    I wouldn’t get too hung up on the free speech thing. To me this is more of a protest act – like drowning out an objectionable speaker at a public meeting.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  9. Chuck Bird (4,924 comments) says:

    Good on you David. It is a shame that some on your side do not agree with you on free speech. Milenmild is a good example.
    This act no doubt cost an innocent person money.

    When you attack people, demand they be kept to a lesser status, is it any surprise that some bite back?
    But do not tar all your opnents with the same brush, just as we do not rall all xtians with the brush of Westbro baptists.

    The above is a quote from Bob’s Blog

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  10. berend (1,716 comments) says:

    No NZ data centre can handle this. The only way to handle this is to host on really big data centres, i.e. Amazon EC2 or Rackspace.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  11. Colville (2,300 comments) says:

    I love a conspiracy theory, I would think its likely that someone from Family First launched the attack to get media attention for the groups message.
    Who would have known of the website otherwise?

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  12. Lee01 (2,171 comments) says:

    “I wouldn’t get too hung up on the free speech thing. To me this is more of a protest act”

    Bullshit.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  13. Aredhel777 (290 comments) says:

    “I love a conspiracy theory, I would think its likely that someone from Family First launched the attack to get media attention for the groups message.
    Who would have known of the website otherwise?”

    Pfffft, it’s far more likely that some idiot liberal acted without realising that it would be more advantageous to the gay lobby’s cause to let the Family First petition fizzle out.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  14. eszett (2,430 comments) says:

    I agree, a DOS attack on such a site is stupid, unhelpful and, above all, counterproductive.

    No one has ever heard of this site until the DOS attack was reported.
    And that site and Family First website have been down ever since. How long does it take to recover from a DOS?

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  15. UpandComer (537 comments) says:

    Really unimpressive from the gay lobby on this one. I think gay people are often let down by their lobby people. It’s just ugly and reflects really badly on them. Family first should be allowed to say what they want to say. Why do this? They’ve got the Prime-Minister on their side, it’s just bad form.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  16. andyscrase (89 comments) says:

    Frank Furedi writes some interesting stuff in Spiked on gay marriage

    http://www.spiked-online.com/site/article/12539/

    It’s not a cut and dry issue.
    I can’t stand “liberal” intolerance though.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  17. scrubone (3,105 comments) says:

    “When you attack people, demand they be kept to a lesser status, is it any surprise that some bite back?”

    That would count as a demonstration of the demonisation that has lead to this attack.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  18. bringbackdemocracy (428 comments) says:

    It looks like the gay lobby is getting a lot of support from offshore.
    American bag-men anyone
    What an unscrupulous bunch.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  19. Lucia Maria (2,609 comments) says:

    So, the webhosting company is basically saying that they don’t have what it takes to protect any of their customers!

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  20. RRM (10,020 comments) says:

    You have a right to free speech. You don’t have a right to be liked… ;-)

    Garth McVicar has made a life for himself out of insisting that “families” agree entirely with, and indeed are exhibit “A” in support of, his own conservative political opinions.
    I wonder what would happen if Garth ever traveled outside of his small circle and met a Husband & Wife who hold liberal political views and have good kids… would his head explode?

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  21. SalParadise (54 comments) says:

    I was hoping to have a look at their website for a post I just wrote so this is very disappointing.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  22. mara (795 comments) says:

    What a surprise to see the liberals being illiberal again because, of course, they know best.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  23. berend (1,716 comments) says:

    eszett: And that site and Family First website have been down ever since. How long does it take to recover from a DOS?

    It’s worse. They have been kicked off by their ISP. My hosting company would too, you simply can’t afford to handle such attacks.

    So they’re in limbo state now. Unlikely to be accepted back by any NZ ISP.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  24. berend (1,716 comments) says:

    Lucia Maria: So, the webhosting company is basically saying that they don’t have what it takes to protect any of their customers!

    No. Family First can’t afford what it takes to protect themselves.

    No NZ ISP can withstand a large scale DDoS.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  25. Csanad (3 comments) says:

    @Berend, have you ever heard about Cloudflare?
    Guys, seriously what’s wrong with the kiwi hosting era? Can’t believe it. Less than five minutes to set up, and you can forget the threats.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  26. UpandComer (537 comments) says:

    Imagine the furore if the Rainbow NZ website was similarly attacked? This is really, really bad form on behalf of the Gay lobby, and it really makes me re-think my stance on gay marriage.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  27. F E Smith (3,307 comments) says:

    @Realize,

    are you seriously arguing that only those strong enough to resist attack are able to speak? Because that is what you are saying. I suppose that if the site owner had been speaking on street corner and had been physically attacked then you would argue that they should learn to successfully fight off their attackers before they can exercise their free speech?

    Idiot.

    Being committed to free speech means that we condemn those who attack people exercising their right, not criticise those who aren’t savvy enough/physically able to protect themselves.

    But of course it is such a left wing habit, isn’t it, to shut down speech by aggression and silencing tactics, rather than to debate and counter with more speech. Why should you, when you can simply threaten and attack?

    The sad thing is that we on the right are committed to allowing free speech and therefore allow the left to speak, when the left are more than happy to abuse their positions and the tolerance they get from the right to silence their opponents in any way they can. It is galling, however, when the lefties then criticise those denied their right to free speech for not being strong enough to exercise it.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  28. eszett (2,430 comments) says:

    It’s worse. They have been kicked off by their ISP. My hosting company would too, you simply can’t afford to handle such attacks.

    So they’re in limbo state now. Unlikely to be accepted back by any NZ ISP.

    That’s regrettable.

    However, there are a number of international ISPs that can get them up and running again. Transferring the content should be easy.

    I am still surprised at the speed of which such an obscure site suddenly became the target of such a “large” DOS.
    Could it be that the ISP overreacted?

    It is largely a local issue, a local instigated DOS should be trackable to it’s source.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  29. berend (1,716 comments) says:

    Csanad: @Berend, have you ever heard about Cloudflare?

    No, haven’t. And haven’t seen anyone offering DDoS protection, but it’s at least $200 a month, and I assume familyfirst.org.nz just paid $30NZD a month or so.

    But the fine print is no different than any NZ ISP: CloudFlare reserves the right to, under its sole discretion, refuse service, suspend or terminate accounts, or otherwise restrict access to CloudFlare.com and the CloudFlare Service..

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  30. berend (1,716 comments) says:

    eszett: I am still surprised at the speed of which such an obscure site suddenly became the target of such a “large” DOS.
    Could it be that the ISP overreacted?

    Probably not. You need just a 1,000 PCs from a botnet (which can have millions) to take out any NZ ISP. And in case you can’t even handle slowloris, it takes just one.

    The problem is that it interferes with the other 1000s of websites the ISP has. They really can’t afford to deal with the problem, so you just get kicked off. It’s not a NZ thing. Any shared hosting would immediately kick off a site that attracts attention because all your other sites are offline too.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  31. Csanad (3 comments) says:

    @Berend: well, if you need serious protection, it is cost a bit money. I guess Family First could easily afford it, I mean it’s really not a fortune.
    On the other hand, I know for fact it is very powerful, there’ve been a bit of drama a half a year ago, when the Hungarian Anonymus targeted one of the nastiest nazi portal.
    Here is an interesting interview with the founder: http://postdesk.com/matthew-prince-cloudflare-interview

    Disclosure: I’m not affiliated in any way with Cloudflare. Just a happy client.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  32. DylanReeve (166 comments) says:

    There’s something very strange about this whole situation I think. While I haven’t seen any details disclosed on the type of DoS attack, it was probably an HTTP level (thousands of web requests). This could easily have a serious impact on the stability of the server as every request has to be responded to.

    However the response from the web host wasn’t to redirect the DNS entries (which would direct the traffic away from the server) but simply to take the site offline and replace it with a holding page. This action would still result in heavy server load as every request to the site is still handled, and infact generates a number of responses (a 302 redirect to the suspension message, and a number of resource requests for images, CSS etc).

    They have also suspended the main Family First website, although without the DoS message on it’s page. That seems odd, unless both sites were the subject of the attack I guess?

    It’s absurd to claim it was one of the largest attacks, that’s absolutely unquantifiable. Also what’s even less clear to be is how, in two to three days now Family First have not been able to move their sites to another host? They could buy a solid VPS or cloud-based hosting account for tens of dollars online and have it going in hours, if that.

    Maybe there was a legit DoS or maybe the whole thing is just a stupid publicity stunt? Or maybe it’s just the result of a poorly prepared webhost crumbling under the weight of a small attack?

    I disagree with everything Family First stand for pretty much, but they should be welcome to say it. It’s amusing to me that their campaign on this issue may have actually taken down their main site as a side effect. But to blame the “gay lobby” or whatever else is stupid – it could very well have been a single person who initiated the attack.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  33. Chuck Bird (4,924 comments) says:

    A good thing is that the site is back up although the petition part does not appear to be working yet.

    http://www.protectmarriage.org.nz/

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  34. YesWeDid (1,050 comments) says:

    Family First were also illegally using a music track by ‘Train’ on their anti gay marriage website. That may have contributed to the reason they were kicked off by their web host.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  35. Pete George (23,683 comments) says:

    Centre of the Protect Marriage page is:

    Beyond Gay Marriage

    STANLEY KURTZ – THE WEEKLY STANDARD: Among the likeliest effects of gay marriage is to take us down a slippery slope to legalized polygamy and “polyamory” (group marriage). Marriage will be transformed into a variety of relationship contracts, linking two, three, or more individuals…

    #McCoskrieSlope – gay marriage will slip to “polygamous, polyamorous and incestuous adult unions”.
    http://yournz.org/2012/07/30/mccoskrieslope/

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  36. Chuck Bird (4,924 comments) says:

    The web host can kick someone off for copy writ infringement but you are getting off the topic of someone or a group taking serious criminal action by a DOS attack to shut someone’s web site down and damage an innocent third party. I doubt if alleged copy writ infringement was the motive for the DOS attack.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  37. Andrei (2,668 comments) says:

    The slippery slope is real Pete George – when they got homosexual reform people worried that it would lead to demands for marriage.

    “Ho ho ho now way” chorttled the scoffers “we just want to get on with our lives in peace”.

    Seems reasonable

    nek minit civil unions which should have never happened and we all knew that would not be enough but was just a softening up process for this obscene blasphemy which they call “gay marriage” which is beyond vile.

    In the long run it is an own goal, the countries going down this track are already in states of severe decline and a lot other countries in the world are enacting legislation to make sure this rot never develops in their lands.

    And the gays who had acheived acceptance are beginning to be seen in this country as contemptible, self absorbed, whining bullies – which is what they are.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  38. 3-coil (1,222 comments) says:

    The same bigoted behaviour as the “liberal” cretins who shut down the distribution of Ian Wishart’s book about Macsyna King.

    Hypocrites the lot of them.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  39. The Scorned (719 comments) says:

    So the right wing rights hating socialists of the soul are being taken on by the lefty rights haters socialists……how ironic he chortled in his Libertarian manner…..;-)

    The collectivist grouping of all gay people into being lefty PC nutter’s is as valid as all Christians being grouped as secret child molesting bigots I guess……mmmm.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  40. Lucia Maria (2,609 comments) says:

    Csanad,

    That’s a really interesting article on CloudFlare. Thanks for posting it! :)

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  41. RossM (52 comments) says:

    >I’m especially annoyed the site has gone down, because it means I can’t fisk it

    Did you mean fisk, or fist?

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  42. adam2314 (377 comments) says:

    You should realise that they do not like ” straight talking ” ..

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  43. Aredhel777 (290 comments) says:

    “And the gays who had acheived acceptance are beginning to be seen in this country as contemptible, self absorbed, whining bullies – which is what they are.”

    Mate, that’s going a bit far.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  44. eszett (2,430 comments) says:

    ..contemptible, self absorbed, whining bullies..

    An apt description of you and your folks at nzconservative if I ever heard one.

    More to the truth: “And the über-religious ultra-conservatives are beginning to be seen in this country as contemptible, self absorbed, whining bullies – which is what they are”

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  45. eszett (2,430 comments) says:

    In the long run it is an own goal, the countries going down this track are already in states of severe decline

    Let’s have a look at those poor countries in severe decline:

    Since 2001, eleven countries (Argentina, Belgium, Canada, Denmark, Iceland, Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Spain, South Africa, Sweden) and some sub-national jurisdictions (parts of Mexico and the United States) have begun to allow same-sex couples to marry.

    Wow, we better be scared.

    Amusing how Andrei keeps claiming how the sky is falling because gays will be allowed to marry.
    Talk about self absorbed, whining bullies. Not to mention devoid of reason or reality.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  46. edhunter (552 comments) says:

    Not trying to validate my credentials but I have been to civil union ceremonies & I’ve attended weddings & as far as I’m concerned the law as it stands has it pretty much spot on. I would never deny gays the right to affirm there commitment to one another & have that right noted by the law of the land, but & I suppose it is a big but there is & in my humble opinion should always be a a clear line of difference. For one adoption should only be for married couples & I’ve yet to see any reasoned argument why that should not be the case & even if that is the only reason to keep them separate then it is more than reason enough.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  47. eszett (2,430 comments) says:

    For one adoption should only be for married couples & I’ve yet to see any reasoned argument why that should not be the case & even if that is the only reason to keep them separate then it is more than reason enough.

    Fair enough. But why exclude gays?
    I have yet to see a reasoned argument why gay couples should not be able to adopt simply for the reason that they are gay.

    If a gay couple can master all the hurdles and requirements a straight couple needs to master, then why not?

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  48. Thrash Cardiom (298 comments) says:

    For one adoption should only be for married couples & I’ve yet to see any reasoned argument why that should not be the case & even if that is the only reason to keep them separate then it is more than reason enough.

    So in cases where a couple with children split up because one of them is gay and starts a new life with a new partner, you would be against them having custody of the children at all?

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  49. Chuck Bird (4,924 comments) says:

    “So in cases where a couple with children split up because one of them is gay and starts a new life with a new partner, you would be against them having custody of the children at all?”

    I have see cases of this and in one case in particular it affected the child considerably. In this case the father turned out to be HIV+. His wife was lucky to have discovered his deviant behavior before he infected her. I know for a fact that an adolescent boy is put at risk staying with a homosexual father and his partner plus a gaggle of gays is definitely at risk.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  50. Ross Nixon (559 comments) says:

    The petition part of http://www.protectmarriage.org.nz is now working.
    Sign it if you think words should not be redefined due to pressure from minority groups.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  51. Ryan Sproull (7,285 comments) says:

    You can also use their tool to contact MPs and urge them to vote in favour of marriage equality: http://www.protectmarriage.org.nz/have-your-say

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  52. eszett (2,430 comments) says:

    have see cases of this and in one case in particular it affected the child considerably. In this case the father turned out to be HIV+. His wife was lucky to have discovered his deviant behavior before he infected her. I know for a fact that an adolescent boy is put at risk staying with a homosexual father and his partner plus a gaggle of gays is definitely at risk.

    Chucky, you have an unhealthy obsession with this obscure scenario. You keep bringing it up, like they are heaps of “bisexual” men, who cheated massively and are now leaving their wives and all of them are HIV+.

    I am not saying it doesn’t happen, but it certainly is not the norm or the widespread problem that you want to make it out to be.

    There are indeed men who leave their wives for another man. The are mostly NOT bisexual, but homosexuals, who tried to deny and suppress their sexuality.

    Maybe if there was more acceptance of homosexuality and less of your nonsense, they wouldn’t be pressured into a straight relationship.

    And there are wpmen who leave their husbands for another woman. A scenario you don’t seem to be bothered by very much.

    I am not sure why you have the obsession with such a scenario. Maybe it happened to someone in your family.
    But certainly there is no good reason to go on and on about it like a dog with a bone.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  53. Rhodie (28 comments) says:

    Hi David,

    It’s back up and running. I’ve just signed the petition myself.
    http://www.protectmarriage.org.nz/sign-the-petition

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  54. laworder (292 comments) says:

    Andrei wrote


    In the long run it is an own goal, the countries going down this track are already in states of severe decline and a lot other countries in the world are enacting legislation to make sure this rot never develops in their lands

    Just as a matter of curiosity, which are the countries that have or are enacting preventative legislation? I can only think of Uganda, Zimbabwe and Saudi Arabia off hand.

    Regards
    Peter J

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  55. Mr_Blobby (190 comments) says:

    I was neutral on the subject.
    But I will not and cannot standby whilst one group desperately tries to shut down all opposition including the right to free speech.
    Off to sign the petition. Well done.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  56. Mr_Blobby (190 comments) says:

    That feels better just signed.
    To the intolerant gaggle out there try another stunt like attempting to shut down anyone’s right to free speech.
    I will jump off the fence and join the opposing side.
    The last time I saw this type of behavior was over MMP and I was appalled at how anyone and everyone who apposed MMP was attacked. The only reason they prevailed was a lack of fortitude and leadership from MonKey and his surrender and clapping MonKeys.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote