Those of you visiting the Dallas Voice website are getting a specific message when you first come to the site:
“Checking your browser before accessing dallasvoice.com.”
And you are probably wondering what’s up with that. Well, here’s the deal: DallasVoice.com is under attack and has been for some time. The company that maintains our website, Cascadia Web Services, explained to us that someone — we don’t know yet who it is — has launched a DDoS attack against us. Not being a tech-minded nor tech-informed person, I had someone give me a very basic explanation. A DDoS attack basically is a coordinated attack that uses, in our case, tens of thousands of servers to constantly visit the site for the express purpose of overloading the bandwidth and crashing the site. When that happens, our legitimate visitors get an “Error 521 Website is down” message.
And that is extremely frustrating – for you and for us.
Right now, though, visitors are getting the “checking your browser” message and are, within just a few seconds, being redirected to the DallasVoice.com home page. This is because our website maintenance folks have put the site in “Under Attack” mode, a kind of DDoS protection mode offered by Cloudflare. We understand it is a bit of an inconvenience, but we hope that our readers will endure that few seconds of wait time as we work to keep our site safe.
DD0S, by the way, stands for “distributed denial-of-service,” according to this explanation by Cloudflare, and a DDoS attack “is a malicious attempt to disrupt normal traffic of a targeted server, service or network by overwhelming the target or its surrounding infrastructure with a flood of Internet traffic.” Read more about that here.
Our website maintenance folks tell us they have made “an educated assumption with about 68 percent accuracy” that these continuing attacks on our website are happening primarily because we are an LGBTQ site. They add, “Globally there’s been a major uptick in attacks. Wikipedia was recently taken down, for example.”
Let me reiterate: DallasVoice.com has been targeted in a DDoS attack. This is not related to any kind of virus. Those who visit the site don’t need to worry that in doing so they might come in contact with some type of computer virus.
We want our readers to know that we here at Dallas Voice take our job to be “the Voice of Our Community” very seriously. And we believe that right now it is very likely that someone is trying to silence that voice. We won’t let that happen. We ask that you help us in our efforts by continuing to not only visit DallasVoice.com, but to also “like” and “follow” us Facebook and on Twitter, and especially to pick up the print version of Dallas Voice each Friday.
Thank you all for your patience.
— Tammye Nash