It seems in the past few days, a few sites were hit with DDOS attacks. Namely FreeThoughtBlogs, Skepchick, and Feminist Frequency. This is the perfect opportunity to stretch our “skeptic muscles”, so to speak.
Going through two of these sites, you’ll see where they’ve indicated the attacks have occurred and speculation is rampant:
It’s just gotta be those mean ol’ MRA people!
Move over blue meanies – MRAs are taking over!
I went a different route and remained skeptical. And it seems this was the proper mindset. Here is what I received in my email this morning from WordFence:
“As of 11am eastern time this morning we are monitoring the largest distributed brute force attack on WordPress installations that we’ve seen to date. The real-time attack map on www.wordfence.com became so busy that we’ve had to throttle the amount of traffic we show down to 4% of actual traffic.
A brute force attack is when an attacker tries many times to guess your username password combination by repeatedly sending login attempts. A distributed brute force attack is when an attacker uses a large number of machines spread around the internet to do this in order to circumvent any blocking mechanisms you have in place.”
A quick check of all three websites shows they are WordPress creations.
So, where are all the posts out there saying that perhaps it wasn’t a targeted attack as these blog sites (excepting Feminist Frequency) are very eager to claim?
It started with this:
This tweet, in my opinion, is tasteless and uncalled for. The person tweeting it is actively looking to cause controversy and general idiocy. Knowing this makes the tweet simply sad and nothing more.
But to the eyes of one who actively looks for things on the Internet in an effort to let their professional victim light shine, it’s like catnip. It allows them to post publicly that they are “harassed”. Never mind that the tweet in question was not sent to them specifically. No, this person had to actively search to have this particular tweet show up.
What’s funny is Stephanie Zvan stated she was searching for “talk” about her husband’s latest bit of photography. Knowing full well that people tend to talk about her on Twitter, does she search for “Ben Zvan”? Of course not. If I knew nasty things were said about me on Twitter and I wanted to search something pertaining to my daughter, I’d search my daughter’s full name – not just our last name. But then, that defeats the whole purpose of a pro-vic vanity search, doesn’t it?
You’d think that the whole thing would have ended right there. Wrong, my dear reader. Zvan spends what I can only imagine to be hours pouring over tweets and posts on the Slymepit. That sounds rational, doesn’t it? If you’re upset over things being said about you, it’s natural to spend an inordinate amount of time obsessing over things being said about you, am I right?
Imagine you have a neighbor you really can’t stand and you know he/she says things about you that you don’t like. Would you, as a rational human being, voluntarily spend any amount of time around them?
How do these people function in the real world?