Dear Haiku Community,
As all of you are well aware, Haiku Learning’s servers have been targeted in recent days by a direct denial of service attack. It is a common occurrence these days, and unfortunately a malicious person with a few dollars to spend to rent a “bot” net can impact millions of people’s lives in a negative way.
The anonymity of the internet can be a wonderful thing, but there is also a dark side, and for some reason someone decided to be hurtful to our students, our teachers, our schools, and Haiku Learning as a whole. Right around the start of the school day (Pacific time), last Thursday, Friday and again today, someone started up a “bot” net attack and interrupted your (and our) classrooms around the world.
I thought it may be helpful to post some information about the attacks and let you know where we are going from here.
A DDoS attack is when someone directs an overwhelming traffic from thousands or millions of "bots" at a particular IP or domain and tries to overwhelm the network, effectively taking it down. Because of how the internet is designed, it is a common occurrence. Over 7000 sites are attacked daily (according to Neustar, a DDoS expert).
Some folks on the “intertubes” were saying that Haiku Learning was hacked. That is not the case. A DDoS attack is not a hack. Our servers are not compromised, and no private data has been revealed to the outside world.
Some folks were complaining that connectivity was “touch-and-go” over the last number of days. This is true...and unfortunately a side-effect of the mitigation services “shield” that we need to throw up to defend against the bombardment of the attack. Sometimes the mitigation service identifies valid traffic as malicious and blocks the connection temporarily. It is an unfortunate side-effect of the defenses against the attack. We are alternating between keeping the shield up and down in response to the attacks as they happen.
As you might guess, a fair amount of time has been spent by our team to explore options since the first malicious attack was launched last Thursday. We are focusing our efforts in two specific areas: 1) optimizing the time that we spend to react in the face of an attack and minimizing the effect of the mitigation services on legitimate traffic and 2) deepening the resilience of our network to make it harder for these illegal attacks to overwhelm the resources.
We’ve been getting faster in our response regarding the former, and we are also meeting with industry and security experts to address the latter. We are in the process of investing significant resources into additional tools that will build resilience in our systems at several different networking tiers and hopefully block malicious traffic overseas, long before it can hit our network.
We will be rolling out our increasingly sophisticated defenses in the next few days, and we appreciate the amazing support and patience that our Haiku Learning Community has shown us in the face of these repeated attacks.
As always Haiku Learning is committed to building and supporting (and now defending) a platform that will keep you focused on teaching rather than focused on the technology around you.
Thank you for your support and understanding,
Founder and CEO, Haiku Learning
P.S. If you have any questions or concerns, please feel free to contact me directly at email@example.com. I will try to respond to every email I receive!