Cairn Applications

Cairn Applications News

By Category: Vendor Experiences

Anonymous attacks GoDaddy

Here is what is known.  GoDaddy, the largest Hosting and Domain Registrar in the world, came under attack this afternoon.  The attack appears to have been perpetrated by the cyber terrorist group Anonymous.  There is some information on the group's Twitter feed that suggests that the attack was the work of only one member of the organization.  Not that it matters a great deal. 

The attack targeted GoDaddy's DNS System which is responsible for translating domain names such as to an IP address such as 111.222.333.444.  This is a critical first step in any web inquiry. 

This was a Distributed Denial Of Service ( DDOS ) attack. In simple terms, the attacker spreads a virus to thousands, perhaps millions, of  unsuspecting computers.  At some predetermined moment, or in response to some condition, all these computers "wake up" and start making simultaneous requests of a single resource, in this case the GoDaddy DNS System.  The large volume of simultaneous requests from all corners of the globe simply overwhelms the system, thereby blocking  ( denying ) legitimate traffic. 

The motivation given for the attack was some vague claim about GoDaddy promoting web censorship.  This is just noise.  Likely this was done simply to show that it could be done.  This is a common motive. 

The attack lasted from around 3:00pm to nearly 6:00pm  Eastern time on 9/10/2012, one day shy of the 11th anniversary of  the 9/11 attacks. 

Client Data was not affected by the attack.

It is important to note that that Cairn's clients are not hosted at GoDaddy, so no data was at risk during the attack.  Cairn does, however, use GoDaddy to register domain names.  Their  DNS servers are critical to the operation of many of our client's sites. As a result, many Cairn clients were affected by the attack. 

Should we have our own DNS Service?

Our knee jerk reaction is to wonder about the feasibility, expense, benefits and drawbacks of operating an independent DNS look up system.  GoDaddy has been a reliable provider up to now and to their credit, they appear to have gotten the situation in hand fairly quickly.  Should this happen again, however, our wondering will become more urgent.

Please feel free to call the office with any questions. 

Climbing the learning curve on PayPal

I have a client that uses PayPay for their ecommerce.  I set up a series of BuyNow buttons, extracted the hosted button ID's and stored them with the relevant product data at the database.  

I then wrote the wrote the abstracted functionality to render the buttons - all 34 buttons.  

It turns out that in order to get a "continue shopping" button to render on the check out page you have to use AddToCart buttons instead. bad. I went to edit the button type and guess what? You can't edit the button type.   OK.  I called PayPal to see if they could do it on their side.  Flatly...No.  

Moral of the story: BuyNow enables you vistors to buy only one item from your site.  I will now be deleteing 34 BuyNow Buttons and creating 34 AddToCart buttons so that my customer can sell more than one item to his visitors.

One Chestnut Street, Nashua, NH

Cairn Applications, LLC has moved to a suite across the hall from our old offices at one Chestnut Street.    This new space will make a better long term home for the New Hampshire Web Developer.

Come see us at One Chestnut Street, Nashua, NH!

Note to self regarding EnomCentral

One issue in moving a customer from is the migration of the domain.  A lot is associated with the domain, obviously the web site itself, but also the email accounts.  Once a valid domain transfer request is initiated, the loosing regristrar can do one of 2 things, flip the switch and let the transfer happen at a predictable time, or drag thier feet for up to 5 days and kick off the transfer at an unpredictable time.

So, for a new client, I initiated the transfer process, got all the appropriate information in order and sat dow to wait.  The process should take no more than 5-10 minutes.  An hour passes.  2 hours.  Overnight.  Yeah.

So this morning I called EnomCentral to see when the transfer would take place, and what I could do to expidite it.  I was told flatly that they would take up the full 5 days.  I was told I would have to watch and wait.  They were not at all concerned about the potential disruptions to my client's business.  They were not at all concerned about the disruptions to my business.  They don't have to play nice and they aren't going to.

That's a lot of anger for $12 a year.