Attacks mounting on 'Million Dollar Home Page'

The Million Dollar Homepage is coming under increasingly intense DDOS attacks trying to knock down the profitable brainstorm.

The wildly successful pixel-powered Web page of a British university student is coming under increasingly intense DDOS (distributed denial of service) attacks trying to knock down the profitable brainstorm.

Alex Tew, who created The Million Dollar Homepage (http://www.milliondollarhomepage.com) to finance his schooling, has been selling pixels for US$1 each since September and auctioned the last 1,000 pixels earlier this week on eBay. The technicolor site resembles a well-traveled suitcase covered with stickers, ranging from Che Guevara's image to a stop-smoking ad to a yellow smiley, all leading to paid links.

Wide media coverage of the 21-year-old's project has caused high traffic to the site. At times, it has surged to 200 megabits per second, said Russell Weiss, vice president of technical services for InfoRelay Online Systems, which hosts Tew's site under its Sitelutions service. InfoRelay's services include Web page hosting, domain registration and e-mail backup.

The site is hosted on a server in Virginia, in a data center run by Equinix, where InfoRelay has much of its hardware, Weiss said. The high bandwidth use didn't cause problems for InfoRelay, as the company has a multigigabit network and provides bandwidth for a major search engine, Weiss said.

But The Million Dollar HomePage attracted malicious attention, coming under DDOS fire late Tuesday night and early Wednesday morning, he said.

Officials from InfoRelay met to figure out what they could do to stem the attacks within the constraints of Tew's service package, Weiss said. Tew wasn't on an enterprise-level deal that often includes advanced hardware, from vendors such as Cisco Systems, used to prevent the effects of DDOS attacks, Weiss said.

Administrators implemented several proprietary internal techniques to slow and alleviate the effects, he said. "We sort of volunteered our time to do what we could," Weiss said.

The attacks are coming from computers worldwide, including the U.S., Europe and Asia, Weiss said. The attacks could be the work of a botnet -- a network of computers illegally commandeered for sending spam and DDOS attacks.

InfoRelay has been in contact with law enforcement about the attacks, and has worked with the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation before, Weiss said. "We don't like to see this," he said. "It is illegal."

While Tew reportedly implored friends and family to buy pixels on the site at first, and attention snowballed as the project continued. He hit his $1 million goal in ads, although Tew wrote in his blog that he was waiting to confirm bids and payment before announcing who purchased the last 1,000 pixels.

Tew has said he will keep the site up for five years, and advertisers are prohibited from reselling their pixels.

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.
Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Jeremy Kirk

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Luke Hill

MSI GT75 TITAN

I need power and lots of it. As a Front End Web developer anything less just won’t cut it which is why the MSI GT75 is an outstanding laptop for me. It’s a sleek and futuristic looking, high quality, beast that has a touch of sci-fi flare about it.

Emily Tyson

MSI GE63 Raider

If you’re looking to invest in your next work horse laptop for work or home use, you can’t go wrong with the MSI GE63.

Laura Johnston

MSI GS65 Stealth Thin

If you can afford the price tag, it is well worth the money. It out performs any other laptop I have tried for gaming, and the transportable design and incredible display also make it ideal for work.

Andrew Teoh

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

Touch screen visibility and operation was great and easy to navigate. Each menu and sub-menu was in an understandable order and category

Louise Coady

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

The printer was convenient, produced clear and vibrant images and was very easy to use

Edwina Hargreaves

WD My Cloud Home

I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?