After days of intense growth, Bitcoins peaked at an unprecedented value of $266 last night, shortly before a crash which saw some investors selling them for as little as $105.
Mt.Gox announced on Facebook that last night's crash was not caused by a DDoS (distributed denial of service) attack, but rather as a result of increased trade and new users signing up. The increased trade caused the Mt.Gox trading system to lag, which caused panic amongst some investors who started "cashing out" their Bitcoins, further exacerbating the situation until the trade engine froze.
Mt.Gox also revealed that the number of trades had tripled in a 24 hour period, and the number of new accounts jumped from 60,000 in March to 75,000 in just the first few days of April. Around 20,000 accounts are now being created each day, which is not surprising, given the potential investment value that has become widely evident over the past few weeks.
One investor was fortunate enough to have sold nearly 70,000 Bitcoins ahead of the crash. These would have been worth more than $18 million if sold at the very peak of the market, which demonstrates just how remarkable the growth has been — less than 3 years ago, 10,000 Bitcoins were used to buy $25's worth of pizza.
Mt.Gox went down for a short period late this morning (Thursday) while it performed some system maintenance and added several new servers to its system; however, as soon as this maintenance was completed, Mt.Gox was subjected to another DDoS attack.
Dynamically updating performance graphs of the most popular Bitcoin trading sites are available here.
Posted by Paul Mutton in Performance
New York Internet looks set to make it through the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy with barely a scratch on its uptime or performance.
NYI's New York City datacenter is just a third of a mile away from the 75 Broad Street datacenter (in evacuation Zone A), which flooded during Hurricane Sandy. NYI is crucially further uphill, in Zone C, and was out of reach of the storm surge. Despite widespread power failures within the area, NYI has so far managed to continue operating without suffering from any outages:
Demand for fuel is very high in the areas affected by the storm. Phillip Koblence, founder of NYI, said that poor availability of gasoline for staff to get to and from datacenters was his worst problem, followed by sleeping and washing facilities. Queues to get gasoline were reportedly two miles long, and vehicles containing fewer than 3 people were not being allowed into Manhattan between 6am and midnight.
Koblence told Netcraft that he had no power or water at home, and difficulties getting food anywhere near work were also adding to the problems. NYI expected commercial power to be shut off as the storm hit, and its New Jersey and New York City datacenters have been running on diesel generators since Monday.
away from the flooded 75 Broad Street datacenter.
NYI estimates that its 21st floor generator tank in Manhattan can last for 36 hours, while its 8th floor generator can run for more than 3 days. The Bridgewater datacenter in New Jersey is believed to be capable of lasting at least 10 days on generators, far longer than the times between each fuel delivery that the company has been sustaining this week.
Commercial power is expected to be restored to the datacenters late on Saturday night, although NYI plans to remain on generator power until the commercial power supply becomes stable.
Posted by Paul Mutton in Performance
Social network Bebo is still inaccessible after an apparent technical error took the site offline yesterday.
Bebo was previously hosted on the Akamai content delivery network, which generally increases a site's resilience to network outages and traffic spikes, but DNS lookups for the www.bebo.com website are currently not resolving:
$ ping www.bebo.com ping: cannot resolve www.bebo.com: Host name lookup failure $ dig www.bebo.com ; <<>> DiG 9.5.1-P3 <<>> www.bebo.com ;; global options: printcmd ;; connection timed out; no servers could be reached
Twitter is currently awash with self-propagating rumours that Bebo has been shut down for good; however, this has been debunked by TechCrunch, which reports a Bebo spokesperson as saying the site went down due to "a technical clusterf**k". Michael Birch, who originally founded Bebo with his wife Xochi, also tweeted that the site should be coming back in a matter of hours.
The United States Department of Justice appears to be under attack for the second time since the popular Megaupload file sharing site was taken down. The group Anonymous appears to be carrying out this latest attack in protest against the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA)
In its Mega Song music video, which was released last month, Megaupload claimed the site had 1 billion users and accounted for 4% of all traffic on the internet. www.megaupload.com was the 77th busiest site according to the Netcraft Toolbar. The company's main website was hosted by Carpathia Hosting, but now displays an FBI anti-piracy warning hosted by Amazon. The warning explains, "This domain name associated with the website Megaupload.com has been seized pursuant to an order issued by a U.S. District Court." Despite the static nature of the warning page, it appears to have struggled with the amount of traffic it was receiving over the weekend:
Plans by Anonymous to launch a distributed denial of service attack against www.governo.it were changed half an hour before the attack was scheduled to commence. The group used IRC, Twitter, Pastebin and image sharing sites to advertise the attack a day before it was due to start, but the surprise change meant that www.italia.gov.it unexpectedly ended up bearing the brunt of the attack.
The DDoS attack against www.italia.gov.it was immediately successful, with the site becoming inaccessible from 14:00 UTC on Thursday. The attack appeared to subside a few hours later and the site is now functioning normally with no apparent changes to its infrastructure.
After seeing how easily its "lulzcannon" were able to take down www.italia.gov.it, some members of Anonymous called for the original target, www.governo.it, to be attacked as well. It was not apparent how many people took part in this secondary attack, but it appeared to have a minimal impact on the site's availability:
Finnish anti-piracy organisation TTVK is still under attack after it successfully applied for one of the country's largest ISPs to block access to the popular bittorrent tracker, The Pirate Bay. The Helsinki District Court ordered Elisa Oyj to implement the block, and Elisa responded by appealing the decision to the Helsinki Court of Appeal.
In protest against the block, AnonFinland called for its supporters to "fire their cannons" at the TTVK's antipiracy.fi website, which quickly succumbed to the attack. Anonymous has issued similar calls to arms in the past – most notably towards the end of 2010, when WikiLeaks supporters successfully used the LOIC tool (Low Orbit Ion Cannon) to attack the websites of Visa, MasterCard and PayPal.
Shortly after calling for the site to be attacked, AnonFinland tweeted a now-customary "tango down" message, signifying that the attack had succeeded. With a Netcraft site rank of only 435586, it is likely that antipiracy.fi was typically not accustomed to large volumes of traffic. This, coupled with the fact that the site does not make use of a CDN to increase redundancy or reduce network latency, may have made the organisation an easy target.
TANGO DOWN antipiracy.fi Copyright Information & Anti-Piracy Centre In Finland | And We'll keep it down as long as We want \o/— AnonFinland (@anon_finland) January 9, 2012
antipiracy.fi – which is coincidentally hosted by Elisa Oyj – was still down at the time of publication.