Raspithon continues: live feed undaunted by DDoS attacks

I’ve been checking into the Raspithon (this link is for a live feed) every few hours (time for sleep aside), and it’s surprisingly engrossing watching the video stream and chat channel as Ryan, Luke, Edward and Ben develop the game they’ve set themselves 48 hours to write. I heartily recommend it. They’re nearly a day into the project now, and last time I looked all kinds of interesting physics to do with bullets and explosions was going on. I don’t remember having that much trigonometry when I was 12. You can read more about the project here.

The guys have been suffering a DDoS attack which has taken their website down. I remain absolutely bemused that there are people out there who think doing such a thing to kids who are raising money for a charity is smart or funny. I could say a lot more about this, but I suspect that those of you who are reading will say it for me in the comments. Sam Nazarko, who is developing Raspbmc, a media player for Raspberry Pi, has also been a victim of a particularly nasty DDoS attack; the site you’re reading this on has been as well, but we are lucky enough to have a superb host in Mythic Beasts, who move very swiftly to address these problems when they occur and are surprisingly nice about stuff like this when it happens.

Fortunately, the Raspithon live feed is hosted elsewhere, so all they’ve lost is the wrapper that the feed lives in; the Raspithon itself is still going on, and the game (which I did advise them not call Rasperroids, but was overruled on) is developing nicely. Hanging out in the feed gives you a fascinating look into what it’s like to learn a new coding language (if you’re wanting to learn yourself, or if you’ve forgotten what it’s like). And if you’re there at the right time, you may find Eben, me, Alex or one of the other Raspberry Pi developers in the channel too; and we like it when people come along and engage us in conversation, be it about pizza or Python. You can find the feed at http://livestream.com/raspithon – Ryan et al hope the main site at www.raspithon.org.uk will be back later.


ukscone avatar

it’s disgusting that they are being DDoS’ed. I hope whoever is doing this that all kinds of bad karma come back to bite them on the a**e.

ukscone avatar

wrt to the name of the game. have they made the spaceship a tube of Preparation-H?

liz avatar

You’ve got to hope so. It does sound like a *particularly* nasty variant, doesn’t it?

ukscone avatar

NOW!!! i know what the foundation’s logo looks like :D

ok back to my naughty step for a time out

NAB avatar

Just come back from a glorious day at the beach in Scarborough. The DDoS cretins are exactly the same as the boys who thought it would be fun to stomp on the huge sandcastle I’d just finished building with my 6-year-old.

Somebody should read them some Vogon poetry and then throw them out of the nearest airlock.


Isaac Smith avatar

Seconded. Although how imporobably would it be for them to be picked up by a passing spaceship? :D

Alec The Geek avatar

Pretty improbable, about two to the power of two-hundred and seventy-six thousand, seven-hundred and nine to one against – possibly much higher :-)

Chewy avatar

It’s life in the playground that is the internet. Show them it’s not going to stop anything, that’s it’s just a minor irritation and the boys will win.

liz avatar

Absolutely – and I’m delighted to see how cheerful and unruffled they’ve remained throughout the whole thing.

D.W. avatar

It’s ofton the case that those who can’t be creative are destructive.Pity them.

Ben avatar

When everyone’s DNS records update, WE’RE BACK UP! :D

Tom Harris avatar

Good! :)

Jerry Harper avatar

I just checked in – progress is brilliant!

On the other hand I don’t know what is worse – remembering all the 10p’s I wasted trying to get the high score on Asteroids in my local town…. OR the fact that these kids know a 100 times more than me and they are less than a 1/4 of my age…

Still..VERY impressive and everything that Pi is about – go see ’em folks!

TankSlappa avatar

Are you sure it’s a DDOS and not just raspberrypi.org having the slashdot effect?

liz avatar

Positive, unfortunately – that’s what their ISP reported. Ryan had actually gone to a lot of work to ensure that the servers would withstand the usual Raspi front-page effect.

JimA avatar

Sorry if you answered this, but why the DDoS attack? Is there a stated reason, or just the sort of BS that occurs?

Just bought one :)

Dont want to wait 11 weeks :(

Overall score: :)

liz avatar

According to the guy who tried to flood my mailbox a few weeks back, if that’s the same person (outsmarted by Gmail – I mean: how dim can you get?) it was “for the LULZ”, which I thought had stopped being up-to-the-minute and hip about two years ago.

We reckon it’s the same guy; if what Ryan and the guys were experiencing was a syn flood, then that’s precisely what happened to us and to Sam Nazarko at Raspbmc; ours didn’t stop, but Pete at Mythic did some workarounds (which didn’t stop at syncookies) for us. Our working hypothesis is that whoever this is not very good at coding but knows how to run scripts, and is scared silly that little kids might be using the Raspberry Pi to learn stuff that’ll knock him right out of the job market.

Sam Nazarko avatar

Mine didn’t stop either Liz, but a fellow at NodeDeploy allowed me to use their firewall which has 10Gbps inline filtering by changing the A records on their domain.

It is rather terrible that attacks are being conducted on projects that are there to benefit others. Nonetheless, the only way to defeat these attacks is to persist in one’s work. It is always important to remember that these attacks are not a general consensus of your work, but rather, the product of someone with nothing better to do.

JimA avatar

Back in the day we spelled it loser.

But what do I know.

Ryan Walmsley avatar

After ages of waiting to get a reply our VPS went screwy the second time. From all of the info I could only assume it was a second dos attack.

We should be back up soon, two servers are slowly managing now.

Just got to wait until the morning now.

Note: first time is a confirmed ddos attack

stecklars avatar

Hi, from your nameservers I can see that you use cloudflare now which is a great decision.
If there is some attack going on, be sure to go to the cloudflare settings -> Security setting -> and select ‘I’m under attack!’.
Cloudflare will help you weaken the attack.
Also be sure to turn the “Always Online” setting on – it should let your page stay online even though your server is offline.

edyb avatar

I just spent some time watching the Livestream and chatting up with the guys… Very nice work! I made some suggestions, maybe they will add it to the game! This is really incredible and big THUMBS UP to the team involved! Hope all this enthusiasm rubs off on the rest of the kids in the community!

Robert Billing avatar

Go, go, coders! Reminds me of the all-night hacking runs I used to do when I was younger. Personal best was 35.5 hours straight, no sleep, on a TI9000 minicomputer.

As to asteroids I remember playing a very early version on a PDP-7 in Cambridge. You had to load it from paper tape.

(Wanders off to take the dinosaur for a walk.)

Jim Manley avatar

We run SpaceWar! on a restored 1960 vintage PDP-1 at the Computer History Museum in Silicon Valley, and one of our volunteers is Steve Russell, who created it. So, we get to play him a lot … and lose – he’s become very good at it over the past 50 years! :D

martin garthwaite avatar

I shocked to hear about the DDoS attack! This is kids, having fun, raising money for a good course and some muppet(s) out there think that they are BIG Corp that needs to be taken down? Seriously?

Brian Smith avatar

anyway, cool they made a game – it’s more difficult to come up with something original. I wouldn’t recommend giving the DDOS guy any credit for what they did – they tend to thrive off notoriety, so it would have been better to simply state that the server was flooded with requests for progress during the coding and you fixed it than to advertise that someone sat on your picnic and made you sad.

reiuyi avatar

Sometimes I wish to think they’re not automatic computer DDOS attacks, but merely a very high level of enthusiasm from website viewers, much like what happened in february this year when the sales began

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