"External, Malicious Attack?" I doubt it
By Nicholas Solter on Oct 23, 2007
I find it interesting that the Rockies are blaming an "external, malicious attack," but refuse to provide details. As best as I can tell, they just weren’t expecting 8.5 million hits in the first 90 minutes and so assume they were the target of some sort of denial of service attack. But if we do the math, 8.5 million hits is perfectly reasonable. I was attempting connections about once per minute on at least five different browsers. Over 90 minutes that leads to 450 hits from me alone. 8.5 million divided by 450 equals 18,889 (rounding up). That means it would have taken less than twenty thousand people doing what I did to generate that much traffic. Given that Coors Field seats around fifty thousand people for each game, that doesn’t sound at all unreasonable. Furthermore, if you add in the opportunists who are trying to buy tickets only to turn around and sell them on ebay for a huge profit, I don’t think these kinds of numbers should be at all unexpected. So it looks to me like they just didn’t do their math before opening up the ticket sales, and are now trying to blame an attack instead of admitting they weren’t prepared. This speculation on my part could, of course, be completely wrong. Perhaps there really was an attack. But I doubt it.
They’re opening up sales again at noon today. Let’s hope they’ve actually added more bandwidth, or we’ll see a repeat of yesterday’s fiasco. I also hope they aren’t going to accidentally lock out legitimate customers in their attempts to prevent against DOS attacks.