Lassen News publisher apologizes to readers, advertisers

Being the print guy I have always been, I never imagined in my wildest dreams one day I would become the publisher of an online news site. But here I am. I also never imagined our little local website would suffer a cyberland attack. Well, here I am again. Let me share with you what happened.

Saturday afternoon several readers called and sent text messages advising me the Lassen News site was offline. I checked, and sure enough, they were absolutely right. My wife Cindie is the reluctant technology person at Lassen News, so it fell to her to try and straighten things out. For several hours she and our hosting site tried to fix the problem. Wasted away again in nerdynerdyville.

Turns out we were the victim of what the hosting company called a DOS attack in which our website was flooded with more than 150 requests per minute — the kind of activity we’d see if something we posted went viral. All those requests overwhelmed the hosting company, and they took us offline Saturday afternoon and evening. They told us these issues generally clear themselves in about 24 hours.

Of course, we didn’t want the website to be down at all, so we pressed them for an immediate solution. Finally, they suggested we could buy a license for a piece of software that would fix the problem. That’s what we did, and the website came back online almost instantly. Anyone who knows about websites knows many licenses need to be purchased, but we never figured we’d be the subject of such an attack or that we could purchase a license to avoid one. During these conversations someone suggested this may have happened because I posted a story from the California Secretary of State regarding threats in our state due to the war in Israel. Whodathunkit.

I apologize to our readers and our advertisers for the interruption and any inconvenience it might have caused. I hope we have adequately responded to this situation, and it will never happen again.

Thank you to our readers and our advertisers for your support. We truly appreciate it. We’re sorry for the disruption.