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    Nominet Suspends Whois to Block Data Miner | Log in/Create an Account | Top | 1 comments | Search Discussion
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    Nominet's Response
    by CapnB on Sunday January 26 2003, @10:43AM (#11031)
    User #3567 Info | http://www.joel.co.uk/
    Shortly after the resumption of the service, Nominet posted the following:

    Late yesterday evening, as a result of a distributed and high volume data
    mining attempt, we were forced to temporarily suspend our public WHOIS
    service. The service has since been re-started.

    We believe that there is a very persistent person/organisation attempting
    to gain a detailed copy of the .uk register. This attempt began last
    week, but increased efforts last night resulted in us needing to take more
    severe action than previously necessary. The data mining attempt operates
    by systematically querying the WHOIS server using whatever WHOIS proxies
    they can find. The queries normally take place overnight (GMT) with
    sometimes hundreds of proxies being commandeered simultaneously for this
    purpose. Yesterday evening, the volumes were such that we had no
    alternative but to suspend the service from 23.00 hours GMT onwards. The
    service was re-started at 07.45 hours GMT.

    Before last night's action we had been actively working against this
    action every night by blocking the proxies that we believed were being
    used for this attack. It is important to note that some of the proxies
    being blocked were not exceeding any form of rate limit and so were not
    being blocked for individual misuse, but rather for their unwitting
    involvement in this distributed attack. We have also been currently
    blocking all traffic from the originating subnets. We have made a formal
    complaint to the ISP responsible for the address ranges concerned and are
    currently taking legal advice on related issues.

    To reduce the problems caused to members by our needing to block their
    access, we unblock most proxies when we are confident that the attack has
    subsided, which is normally early in the morning (GMT). Those left
    blocked are either exceeding rate limits or seem to be still being used in
    this attack.

    We apologise to anyone inconvenienced by these events, but trust that
    members will understand the importance of protecting the .uk register.

    --
    CTO, CentralNic Ltd. [centralnic.com]

    [ Reply to This | Parent ]


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