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DoubleClick Hit by DDoS Attack 531

Posted by CowboyNeal
from the hard-rain-falls dept.
YetAnotherName writes "The Washington Times is reporting that everyone's most beloved online advertising distributor, DoubleClick, was subject to a DoS attack crippling the company's DNS servers, and preventing up to 75% of advertising from making it to web pages and surfers' eyes."
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DoubleClick Hit by DDoS Attack

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  • Good or bad? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by EdZ (755139) on Thursday July 29, 2004 @06:33PM (#9837819)
    I'm not sure whether the encouragement of DDOS-ing even 'evil' companies should be encouraged.
  • Actually... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by MacGoldstein (619138) <jasonmp85@@@mac...com> on Thursday July 29, 2004 @06:35PM (#9837849) Homepage
    Although it may seem like some sort of poetic justice that Doubleclick was attacked...

    The attacks had more far-reaching effects. Pages would take forever to load for me (certain pages, not all), if they used doubleclick ads, simply because the browser was waiting for the final item (the ad) to load.

    Whether or not you like doubleclick, their widespread adoption made this a productivity hit for those of us who frequent pages w/ doubleclick content (even if we never notice it).
  • by Knights who say 'INT (708612) on Thursday July 29, 2004 @06:38PM (#9837895) Journal
    There is a downside to such attacks as they harm business trust on the internet and large capital investments to the infrastructure and R&D and all. But it also has an upside, and a important one it is. Little bouts of anarchy like this show The Powers that Be that there is such a thing as an internet community who does not take slimey practices (such as the Verisign search, remember?) lightly.

    It keeps commercialism in check. And that is a Good Thing (TM).
  • by zoloto (586738) on Thursday July 29, 2004 @06:39PM (#9837899)
    No matter how much I hate /ads/, a DDoS should not be tolerated no matter to whom it's directed. Weather it's kernel.org or microsoft.com, let's try to use our knowledge constructivly instead of destructivly. How does that sound? And where does any one person think a DDoS will get for anyone as a whole? If anything, it'll bring a stronger resolve to preventative measures and keep them going strong. They have the $!! so where will it really get those who started this "attack"?

  • Re:Sad news (Score:2, Insightful)

    by pHatidic (163975) on Thursday July 29, 2004 @06:39PM (#9837903)
    A DoubleClick spokeswoman said the attack targeted the company's domain name servers -- machines that help direct Internet traffic -- causing "severe service disruptions" for all 900 of its customers.

    Wait I thought doubleclick was one the thirtieth most visited site on the internet, how could they only have 900 customers? It's almost as if they don't think of the people visiting their site as customers, as if they're only there to be bent over and take it in the behind.

  • Re:Good or bad? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by adam mcmaster (697132) on Thursday July 29, 2004 @06:40PM (#9837917) Homepage
    I agree, this sort of thing has an effect on many people other than the intended victim; as someone who works for a hosting company (admittedly a small one, but hey) I can tell you how annoying it is when your chosen datacenter is taken down by this kind of thing.
  • by daeley (126313) * on Thursday July 29, 2004 @06:42PM (#9837943) Homepage
    let subscribers do it like Fark does.

    Yeah, 'cause there's no bastion of journalistic potency like Fark.

    Granted this story broke yesterday, but since you obviously already knew about it from *some* source, I don't see what the problem is. Now we get to discuss it on /.
  • by RWerp (798951) on Thursday July 29, 2004 @07:01PM (#9838114)
    Item 1. shows how far political correctness can go?
  • by dsanfte (443781) * on Thursday July 29, 2004 @07:02PM (#9838121) Journal
    No matter how much I hate /ads/, a DDoS should not be tolerated no matter to whom it's directed.


    Sorry man, in the days of the DMCA, INDUCE, and PATRIOT acts, I'll take my poetic justice wherever I can get it. I applaud this for the same reason I applaud thieves getting their asses hauled into prison, because they damn well deserve it, regardless of whether forced confinement is "wrong" or not.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday July 29, 2004 @07:05PM (#9838146)
    4. Dumb pro-american sites that tell of the existence of 'terrorist training servers'
  • by skurk (78980) on Thursday July 29, 2004 @07:10PM (#9838196) Homepage Journal
    Don't one of the most aggresive advertisers in time, X10.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday July 29, 2004 @07:11PM (#9838202)
    Yeah ... you're right ...

    i think deep down in our hearts, we know you're right ...

    it sure is good for a laugh though
  • Re:Sad news (Score:5, Insightful)

    by JabberWokky (19442) <slashdot.com@timewarp.org> on Thursday July 29, 2004 @07:18PM (#9838267) Homepage Journal
    Am I the only person left who thinks it is unethical to use a person's site and block their ads? I find it deeply troubling that there are many people who work for or would like to work for internet companies that turn around and bite the prevailing revenue source for those same companies.

    You can argue all you want, it is a matter of personal belief. I consider it to be something that should not be made illegal, but also something that is terribly impolite to do and does have a negative effect upon something that you like enough to patronize.

    It's kind of like when the cool coffee house with all the great local bands closes down because nobody bought any coffee. Everybody bitches how much it sucks, but never connects that they were taking up a chair for four hours without buying a drink.

    If you like the site, how about some respect for the people who work on it? Common decency appears to be growing much less common.

    --
    Evan

  • by geekwench (644364) on Thursday July 29, 2004 @07:40PM (#9838474)
    Well, damn. I finally heard of something that makes me wish that I didn't have: such a good firewall / spyware killer / Mozilla / et cetera.

    Now if only there were some way to legally drive spyware / malware companies out of business. That would be an effort that I could endorse 100%. The problem with this is, well, it's still a DDoS, even if it is against a company that's pretty thoroughly reviled. I doubt that the owners of the participating computers agreed to help with the project.
    Plus, there are hundreds of thousands of people out there who still haven't figured out that the big blue "e" isn't the Internet. Their day got totally hosed by web pages that refused to load, "server not found" issues, and assorted other garbage. They got hit by the "shrapnel", but were innocent bystanders. And no, using IE doesn't mean that "they got what they deserved." (We tend to be rather elitest here on /., but it's likely that the number of late-bloomer techies far outnumbers the ranks of the lifelong geeks. Not everybody discovers their inner geek at the same point in life - but that's another rant.) Aunt Claire, who just wants to upload new photos to the family webpage, doesn't deserve to be pop-upped and spywared to tears, but neither does she - or anyone else - deserve to get caught in the middle of an online piss war. Poetic justice or not, this event is a Bad Thing.

    Still, it does warm the cockles of my black little heart, thinking of DoubleClick getting served a heaping helping of the kind of crap that they've dished out over the years.

  • by Grrr (16449) * <cgrrr@[ ]r.net ['grr' in gap]> on Thursday July 29, 2004 @07:47PM (#9838527) Homepage Journal
    All those sites that you go to that have these ads are staying in business because of them.

    False.

    If DoubleClick went away so would a lot of that content.

    True.

    Gotta watch out for "all" and "never"... :)

    The devil doesn't really need an advocate, eh?

    <grrr>
  • Re:Good? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Mesaeus (692570) on Thursday July 29, 2004 @07:49PM (#9838542)
    Regarding CoolWeb we'd better skip the DDOS phase and go straight to beating the shit out of their employees with various blunt instruments, I call dibs on their "CEO". I just cleaned up a family's pc where the children got a fullscreen popup without any controls of naked 12-14 year olds, every single time they logged on. Courtesy of CoolWebSearch. That company is made up of a bunch of sick individuals, and they've perfected their "art" of drive-by-installing their spyware so much that the latest versions (there's about twenty different ones) are harder to get rid of than most virusses.
  • by Omega (1602) on Thursday July 29, 2004 @08:03PM (#9838647) Homepage
    I realize this is probably an unpopular opinion to have on slashdot, but I don't think most people understand that someone has to pay the hosting fees, bandwidth, editing time, content, etc. So here's how the so called "FREE" sites (those that are remaining on the net anyway) work. They exist because of advertising. As "evil" as ads may be, they pay the bills for Slashdot [slashdot.org], The Onion [theonion.com], IMDb [imdb.com], Yahoo [yahoo.com], etc.

    Not to get all MPAA on you, but when you block the ads, you're hurting the site. Not only that, but you're encouraging "innovation" on the advertisers side to keep you from blocking the ads. This leads to a mixing of advertising and content, so that the web pages start becoming all flash or all pictures so you can't filter out certain images without breaking the whole site for yourself.

    Want to keep the subscription sites down and keep the free web up? Leave the banner ads be. Hell, click on them once in a while. If the advertisers and website are satisfied with how their ads are doing, they'll be less aggressive and less likely to piss you off.

  • by Dun Malg (230075) on Thursday July 29, 2004 @08:10PM (#9838720) Homepage
    when you block the ads, you're hurting the site.

    Absolute bollocks. As a rule, I NEVER click on a banner ad. When they're visible, I don't look at them. The only difference between a blocked ad and an unblocked ad coming into my browser is the blocked ad (white box) renders faster. I am not cost advertisers on cent.

  • by IBitOBear (410965) on Thursday July 29, 2004 @08:11PM (#9838726) Homepage Journal
    No matter how many times I click refresh, the DoubleClick corporate site will not not display any banner ads, nor pop up nor pop under any X10 windows...

    Oh, what did you say? "The leader in network advertising" only has tasteful advertisements on their own site?

    Isn't that a tad hypocritical?

    Shouldn't the people advocating annoying, bouncing, animated, rollover tripe beleive in their own products and techniques enough to use it on their own pages?

    Clearly they don't, and they don't.

    One could only dream of the day when all the advertisers who patronize DoubleClick ask them selves why DoubleClick doesn't use their own service to advertise their own service...

    Perhaps because their customers would realize how much such techniques annoy and drive off potential clients....?

    Nah, marketeers (as in mouse, not misspelling 8-) will never get wise to their own lack of wisdom.
  • Re:Sad news (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Captain Nitpick (16515) on Thursday July 29, 2004 @08:27PM (#9838858)
    That's because they don't. They were referring to the people who pay them to place their ads; the people who click on the ads would be Doubleclick's customers' customers.

    The people who click on the ads are Doubleclick's product.

  • by LazloTheDog (39236) on Thursday July 29, 2004 @08:43PM (#9838973)
    If the ad blinks or flashs, I block them. If the ad has a shitty server that causes the page to hang, I block them. And I don't care what site has them, because they are giving me a crap experience. doubleclick has been blocked for a long time now. If enough folks did this, the more astute sites will use a less intrusive ad provider.

    JM

  • by Zork the Almighty (599344) on Thursday July 29, 2004 @08:53PM (#9839056) Journal
    "If you don't watch the commercials, it's like you're stealing TV !" - Homer Simpson
  • by SirKodiak (585894) on Thursday July 29, 2004 @09:03PM (#9839115)

    Please tell me, have you ever heard of a company dropping prices because their sales went up?! The very thought of it is insane.

    As insane as it may seem to you, being able to have low prices due to having a large number of units sold is the motivation behind mass production. And there's plenty of examples of this happening. Electronic devices are routinely introduced with high initial prices which then fall as enough sales are made to pay for R&D. The price drop that occurs as something becomes a commodity is very common.

    There's plenty of faulty logic behind the "piracy causes high prices" argument, but your point isn't one of them.

    Piracy, like ad blocking, in the end, is caused by social dynamics that no single invididual bucking a trend could ever hope to reverse.

    I could just as easily say that people arguing that people shouldn't pirate/people shouldn't block ads/people shouldn't jaywalk is also caused by social dynamics that no single individual bucking a trend could ever hope to reverse. If you're unwilling to believe that individual action could result in social change, then why are you bothering to get involved? You're welcome to be cynical, to believe that nothing we do can change the world, but you shouldn't expect everyone else to do the same. But then, there's not much that I, just one man, can do to stop people like you shouting others down ;).

  • by Dun Malg (230075) on Thursday July 29, 2004 @09:14PM (#9839185) Homepage
    You cost the site bandwidth, you fucking moron. Free sites go down when too few people even click the ads. Or do you think the companies running the ads don't pay attention to have much traffic the site gets them? What a fucking moron, and an asshole to boot.

    I know you are, but what am I?

    All childishness aside, think about this rationally, please. The original assertion was that blocking ads results in lower ad revenue. This is incorrect. It's not the blocking, but the not clicking that reduces revenue. Whether I see the ad or not, I am not clicking. Advertisers always assume that a certain percentage of people will not be affected by the ads. I represent part of that percentage. Feel free to call me an asshole for not doing what they already know I'm not going to do, but think about the alternative. Are you saying that everyonbe ahould click every ad that comes up? Don't you think the ad company is going to get suspicious when a grossly abnormal percentage of people are clicking through? I understand your knee-jerk, but you have to understand that "freeloaders" like me have already been accounted for.

  • by miskatonic alumnus (668722) on Thursday July 29, 2004 @09:17PM (#9839204)
    Great, an Insightful advertising apologist. Will wonders never cease? As a couple others have pointed out, you are then obligated to watch all the commercials while your TV is on. Also, you really should read each and every advertisement in the magazines you buy, because without them, the price of the magazine would be higher. Every once in a while, while reading Linux Journal, you could even buy a Linux cluster. That way, the advertisers know that their ads are working, and that you love them. I'm not sure what billboard advertisements pay for (undoubtedly something useful) so you probably should try to read each one while your driving ... and make sure not to turn the dial on the radio when the annoying ad comes on! Just listen to it and be happy. Fehh.
  • by timonak (800869) on Thursday July 29, 2004 @09:19PM (#9839222) Homepage Journal
    I don't block ads anymore. With the exception of the extreamly annoying ones. I don't care to have something flash constantly on the screen. Are they trying to make me have a seizure?
  • Re:Sad news (Score:3, Insightful)

    by This is outrageous! (745631) on Thursday July 29, 2004 @09:45PM (#9839430)
    However...
    Some Important Disclaimers [alexa.com]
    • The Alexa Toolbar works only with the Internet Explorer browser. Sites frequented mainly by users of other browsers will be undercounted.

    • The Alexa Toolbar works only on Windows operating systems. Although a large majority of the Internet population currently used Windows, traffic to any sites which are disproportionately visited by users of other operating systems will be undercounted.

  • by Ghostgate (800445) on Thursday July 29, 2004 @10:01PM (#9839562)
    So here's how the so called "FREE" sites (those that are remaining on the net anyway) work. They exist because of advertising.

    Give me a break. I seem to remember an internet that once consisted almost exclusively of "free" sites, and funny, I don't remember seeing any ad banners around back then. Let's face it, almost EVERY site has ads now, including the massive number of sites that have very small audiences, and most DON'T have huge hosting bills. The ads you see on most sites are just there to try to make a quick buck. As for the really big sites that reach a wide audience, it's their perogative to put ads up just as it's my perogative to not have to look at them. Same as I might mute the commercials during a TV show, or quickly skip past the ad pages in a magazine.

    I'd much sooner donate to a big site that I really love to help them continue running, rather than un-block ads. This country is already far too commercialized, and frankly, some of us have had enough.
  • Probably (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Sycraft-fu (314770) on Thursday July 29, 2004 @10:03PM (#9839580)
    Do you consider it unethical to read a newspaper without reading their ads? Record a TV show and then fast forward through the commercials later? Get up and get food/go to the bathroom during commercials? Throw away mail flyers for products? Use a text based browser? Have a visual imparement?

    In all these cases, you are ignoring/blocking ads. Sites have a right to try and advertise, but it's your computer, and you have a right to change the presentation to meet your needs.

    Also if the advertisers learned a little something form successful advertising, such as Google and newspapers, they would have a much better chance of not getting blocked:

    1) Be less obtrusive. The web is a random access media. Interrupting people with full screen or popup ads is annoying and counter the operation of the web. Thus people hate them and want them gone.

    2) Be relivant. Do nto slather your ad over ever site on the internet. Target your ad at sites that attract people that care.

    3) Be honest. A large number of ads are highly deceptive in their nature.

    Double click violates all of these their ads are a pain, they advertise whatever, wherever and most of them are "Punch the monkey and win" or "You have a message" or "Your computer is broadcasting an Internet IP address".

    I LIKE Google ads, since they relate to what I search for. Thus, if I want to buy something, I search and then look in the right hand column since the ads are unobtrusive, relivant to what I want, and honestly trying to sell me it.
  • Re:Sad news (Score:5, Insightful)

    by thrillseeker (518224) on Thursday July 29, 2004 @10:08PM (#9839624)
    that is kind of the point - I am sure that you can justify using the site without the ads.

    Sure I can justify it - I'm not going to eat a bowl of shit just to get to the cherry.

    Abusive ads are ignored in any way possible (adblock, making a note to never buy anything from that company, never visiting the site again, whatever) by everyone who visits a site in some way, either mentally or physically. If it blinks, wiggles, flashes, has sound, pops up, pops under, moves around, or is just plain ugly it gets ignored from then on - forever if it has any moving parts. Sites that elect to serve such abusive ads will eventually go out of business. Sites that make an effort to serve relevant and simple ads will still be around - some of them that make a serious effort to "do no evil", such as google, will even make money.

  • by Ghostgate (800445) on Thursday July 29, 2004 @10:10PM (#9839635)
    You liken blocking ads to rude behavior, but the reverse is also true. The majority of ads are extremely rude in the way they are delivered, with bright flashing graphics or other gimmicks that detract from the content we are trying to view.

    If a site is rude to me, I'll gladly be rude in return. Going back to your example, would you feel as bad about not ordering two drinks from that bar with the two drink miniumum, if the staff treated you rudely from the moment you walked in?
  • Re:Sad news (Score:3, Insightful)

    by f0rt0r (636600) on Thursday July 29, 2004 @10:24PM (#9839756)
    Its like this. When you put your site on the Internet, it is in a public space. You are acknowledging that anyone with connectivity to your site can visit it and make use of it. The fundamental purpose of the World Wide Web is sharing information. When you put a web site up, that means you have information you want to share with anyone who can connect to your site. If you don't like the cost of sharing information ( the benefit is you can access information shared by others ), then don't put it on the WWW, or find another way of sharing it.

    On the other hand, the browser ( aka client ), connects to the WWW because he/she wants to access the information available that is being shared there. Generally it is a good thing to be both a sharer and a sharee, as that is generally for the common benefit of everyone involved.

    I hope this clarifies how it works. Commercialism would like to make you think you should pay for and be paid for anything that a price tag can be attached to, but I heartily disagree.

    A few weeks ago, I jump-started a car for complete strangers. I never even gave them my name. I helped them with the understand that the good deed was a reward in itself. Yes, I was in a hurry to get to work and had to explain why I was late, so it cost me. But someday I will be that person stuck with a dead battery, and I hope someone will stop and help me without charging for it. I appy the same philosophy to web sites. /me gets off soapbox
  • Re:Probably (Score:2, Insightful)

    by JabberWokky (19442) <slashdot.com@timewarp.org> on Thursday July 29, 2004 @10:39PM (#9839868) Homepage Journal
    Do you consider it unethical to read a newspaper without reading their ads?

    No, but it is unethical to publish the articles without the ads. The ads pay for the articles by paying the authors.

    Record a TV show and then fast forward through the commercials later?

    Nope, but it is unethical to download tv shows with the ads stripped out. Something I do on a regular basis, I might mention... just because it's not ethical doesn't mean I don't do it. I download mp3s, too. I just don't say it's right. Easy, but not right.

    Get up and get food/go to the bathroom during commercials?

    Yep. I also don't read banner ads when they are on a web page. Nor newspaper ads.

    Throw away mail flyers for products?

    Yep. All the time. There is no reason to keep them.

    Look - you're justifying. I'm sure you're fantastic at justifying how horrible these ads are, that they eat children and kill the elderly.

    Doesn't matter. You are visiting a free site in such a way that you aren't paying for it. When you walk into many museums, they say "suggested donation of...". You don't have to pay $4 to walk in. But if you have the coinage, it's not the right thing to do.

    This is not about how annoying the ads are, or how the site *should* be. It's just wrong to not let the site get the ad revenue. And if you block it such that it shows as a hit, it's wrong to the advertiser who paid money.

    Basically, fundimentally, you're dicking someone over and getting something for free.

    That's wrong, no matter how small it is.

    --
    Evan

  • Well (Score:3, Insightful)

    by metalhed77 (250273) <<andrewvc> <at> <gmail.com>> on Thursday July 29, 2004 @11:23PM (#9840115) Homepage
    Ads can be sold by the clickthrough rate or the number of impressions. The thing is, when you watch an ad on TV, no one expects you to run out and buy something. Sometimes you don't need to click through for it to work. As an example, slashdot has ads for Server Beach. I was looking for a host for a client and thought, oh, lemme try server beach, their ad said they had good prices. I'm going to recommend server beach to this client.

    In this case ads don't need to be clicked.
  • OSDN ads (Score:3, Insightful)

    by WoodstockJeff (568111) on Thursday July 29, 2004 @11:58PM (#9840366) Homepage
    I wasn't blocking ads on Slashdot until they started going "dynamic". If something is moving on the page besides the mouse cursor, it better be a hell of a lot more interesting than Microsoft trying to tell me that using a quad Xeon under Windows 2003 to approximate the work done by a uniprocessor AMD XP2000+ under Linux is an effective way to "lower my TCO"!
  • Re:Sad news (Score:3, Insightful)

    by geminidomino (614729) * on Friday July 30, 2004 @01:28AM (#9840913) Journal
    Riiight... it has nothing to do with seizure-triggering flashing, tracking cookies, and other "shut up and eat your advertising!" tactics.

    You're either a troll, or just stupid.
  • Re:Probably (Score:2, Insightful)

    by wtarreau (324106) on Friday July 30, 2004 @01:47AM (#9841009) Homepage
    Do you consider it unethical to read a newspaper without reading their ads? Record a TV show and then fast forward through the commercials later? Get up and get food/go to the bathroom during commercials? Throw away mail flyers for products? Use a text based browser? Have a visual imparement?

    In all these cases, you are ignoring/blocking ads.


    This is not the same situation. When you block ads
    from a site, you don't even load the image from the ad site, so the page publication doesn't get accounted at the ad site for the site you're consulting.

    You have a plain right not to look at the ads, but if you want to do the same as in :
    - your newspaper, then let them here and don't
    remove them
    - the TV, then load them but don't display them
    (eg 1px*1px images)

    It's the action of PREVENTING THE PUBLICATION which is dishonest to the site you're consulting. They have contracts which say that they have X clients per day and the ad is on the home page so X clients will SEE it. And you're changing those numbers (not you alone, of course), while the site still pays for bandwidth and hosting. Note that it's not the responsibility of the site that you click or not. It's the problem of the advertiser. But you should at least be fair and load the images, even if you know how to prevent them from rendering. It will be the same as buying the newspaper, and throwing away all the ads pages.

    --

  • Re:Probably (Score:5, Insightful)

    by DreamerFi (78710) <john@@@sinteur...com> on Friday July 30, 2004 @03:13AM (#9841313) Homepage
    Bob is being nice to you. He's giving you free pictures of flowers. Being nice to Bob and viewing the whole site is the right thing to do.

    Now, where am I wrong?

    Here's where you are wrong: Bob picked a business model to make sure he could continue to give out those pictures. He could have picked many, but he picked advertising. That may or may not work: perhaps it earns him enough money to continue doing it this way, perhaps it doesn't. It is not relevant wether people actually view the advertising, buy something based on the advertising, etc, because it's clearly a deal between the advertiser and bob. Not between me and bob. I have no responsibility to make his business model work for him. Suppose he signed a contract that doesn't make him enough money - he just needs 5% more. Would it be an ethical requirement for me to visit his site 5% more to make up for his bad decision? No? How about 50%? I have no ethical requirement to make any business model at all work. I am not ethically required to make the store at the corner profitable, and I'm not ethically required to make Bob profitable. It's his gamble that advertising is a way to get money from my visits to his site.

    -John

The universe seems neither benign nor hostile, merely indifferent. -- Sagan

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