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United States Government The Internet Politics

Electoral-vote.com Under Heavy Load; Attack? 603

Posted by timothy
from the get-your-provisioning-on dept.
An anonymous reader writes "Electoral-vote.com (and mirrors electoral-vote2.com through electoral-vote8.com) seem to be very slow at the moment. Votemaster ( A. Tanenbaum) just posted 'All the servers appear to be under attack now, also DNS. I added another large multiprocessor but it doesn't seem to help much. I don't this is going to work. Sorry.' Massive attack or just a large flash crowd? Anybody up for some mirroring so votemaster can concentrate on the polls?" Reader fishwack writes with word that as of 3:46GMT (10:46 PM Eastern time in the U.S.) "the Federal Electoral Commission's Web site is down."
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Electoral-vote.com Under Heavy Load; Attack?

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  • by Renraku (518261) on Wednesday November 03, 2004 @01:11AM (#10707605) Homepage
    Political zerg.
    • by Ziak (807893) *
      http://www.mirrordot.com/ [mirrordot.com] will cover this site right?
  • by StudyOfEfficiency (826511) on Wednesday November 03, 2004 @01:12AM (#10707608)
    Let's post it to Slashdot with a link.
    • he just thought it was under DDoS....wait till /. get's into full effect....mmmwwwwwhhaaaaaa mmmmmwwwwwahhhaaaaaa....
    • Yeah, and that way we'll really make life hell. Now the real question is, "Is this malicious or simply the effect of general interest in the election?" I would hope for the latter, but the voting machines make me think of the former. If we decrease the public's ability to respond to the election, we can steal it more effectively.
    • by pyrote (151588) on Wednesday November 03, 2004 @01:41AM (#10707822) Journal
      Let's post it to Slashdot with a link.

      Or even Double [slashdot.org] it or Triple [slashdot.org] it!
      • by afxgrin (208686)
        And obviously there is no research benefit to delibrately linking the site to Slashdot over and over again.......

        "We survived an unprecedented triple flash crowd and logged it all," writes Tanenbaum. "As it turns out, two of the faculty members in my department, Maarten van Steen and Guillaume Pierre, are doing research on coping with flash crowds. The research issues include how many replicas to set up, where to place them, how fast to deploy them, and how to do it automatically, in real time, and at mini
    • Actually in this case its a good thing since he wants the data on massive usage to figure out ways to work around it. Those crazy academics. Makes me think this whole ``election'' thing may have been a ruse to get us to all go to his website.


      So why am I a happy camper? We survived an unprecedented triple flash crowd and logged it all. As it turns out, two of the faculty members in my Dept., Maarten van Steen and Guillaume Pierre, are doing research on coping with flash crowds. The research issues inclu
  • I dont... (Score:2, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward
    I don't this is going to work.

    Me neither :)
  • by /.ing them. Nice going.

    Actually I'm currently (23:06 CST) able to get to both fec.gov and Andy's site.

    "Do the Right Thing. It will gratify some people and astound the rest." - Mark Twain
  • Seems fine to me (Score:5, Informative)

    by DJ Wipeout (139210) on Wednesday November 03, 2004 @01:12AM (#10707614)
    I got to the FEC with no problem. electoral-vote.com seemed fine too.
  • BS (Score:2, Informative)

    by lNxUnDeRdOg (825794)
    I was just there and kept refreshing and everything was working fine....stop crying wolf
  • Yeah (Score:5, Funny)

    by Tyndmyr (811713) * on Wednesday November 03, 2004 @01:13AM (#10707620)
    It must be under attack, probably by terrorists, who seek to quash our freedom and replace it with...evilness! Because, you know, it doesnt make sense that a site could go down because of insane numbers of people using it. Us slashdotters cant imagine such a thing happening. Besides, who would be going there now, anyhow?
  • by Peter Cooper (660482) on Wednesday November 03, 2004 @01:13AM (#10707624) Homepage Journal
    I think these sites might be slow because the US is voting in a Presidential Election today, so people are checking out those sites for the results so far, etc.
  • by stoborrobots (577882) on Wednesday November 03, 2004 @01:13AM (#10707625)
    What's this? like the fourth direct link to the site today?
  • I can get to it without issue (from the 24.) network.

    Of course, now that it's up on /., you can expect it to experience heavy load.

  • MicroKernel (Score:5, Funny)

    by diablobsb (444773) on Wednesday November 03, 2004 @01:14AM (#10707632)
    quick!
    switch to a microkernel based OS and webserver we all know would stand up to this attack nicely...
    jk :)

  • who cares! (Score:5, Interesting)

    by seanadams.com (463190) * on Wednesday November 03, 2004 @01:14AM (#10707635) Homepage
    right now they're calling florida as "weak kerry" which is nowhere near the case if you look at the figures in so far. Why is this site important?
    • Re:who cares! (Score:5, Informative)

      by DataPath (1111) on Wednesday November 03, 2004 @01:18AM (#10707672)
      He updates the site maybe once a day, and based upon a wide number of polls. He's not doing hourly updates as the results come back from different precincts.
      • Re:who cares! (Score:2, Informative)

        by crazyfreakid (725264)
        Actually, he had promised real-time updates tonight with actual results. You can see this at the bottom of the current front page of the website, I believe... but it deosn't seem to have come about, perhaps because he's been so focused on dealing with these attacks.
    • Re:who cares! (Score:3, Informative)

      by TopShelf (92521)
      It was updated based on the latest polling data, not actual election returns this evening...
    • Interestingly, the absolute number of votes between Bush and Kerry in Florida hasn't changed as the count has increased from ~1 million to ~7 million votes counted, which tends to imply an early burst of pro-Bush support rather than a clear win for Bush.
  • help help! (Score:3, Funny)

    by Fiz Ocelot (642698) <<baelzharon> <at> <gmail.com>> on Wednesday November 03, 2004 @01:15AM (#10707640)
    This site seems to under a very huge load! Quick, post it on Slashdot!

    heh but on a serious note, there's something over 120 million voters? With such a close election? Doubt it's a hostile attack.

  • I've been unable to contact any of my political blogs all day. My guess is it's called TRAFFIC because people (especially the west coast) are trying to get a sixth sense of what's going on...
  • and they are actually trying to shut them down by posting on slashdot...(?)

    isnt the /. affect as good as denial of service?
  • Attack? Sure... millions of people across the world hitting refresh in unison... Terrorists!
  • by marktaw.com (816752) on Wednesday November 03, 2004 @01:16AM (#10707657) Homepage
    http://www.electoral-vote3.com/

    through

    http://www.electoral-vote8.com/

    If one doesn't come up, use another.
  • Perhaps, just perhaps, the site is running slow and getting a lot of hits because of the DAMN ELECTION?

    My God, it ain't that hard people. When the major networks not calling the elections till damn near the last moment it should have been expected that web based resources would be placed under a much larger load.

    Hell, CNN JUST called Florida.
  • Internet load today (Score:5, Informative)

    by aacool (700143) <moc.liamg2abmalnamaa> on Wednesday November 03, 2004 @01:18AM (#10707679) Journal
    netcraft reported this already earlier today http://news.netcraft.com/archives/2004/11/02/mirro rs_help_electoralvotecom_blunt_ddos_attacks.html [netcraft.com]

    Mirroring helped

    Aljazeera was also down, per Netcraft

    I've blogged live about Internet Load all day on my blog today [blogspot.com]

  • by aardwolf204 (630780) on Wednesday November 03, 2004 @01:19AM (#10707685)
    Its good that you provide us apache-crash-happy slashdotters with a link to Electoral-vote.com, come on troops get in there and get that server smoking!

    More seriously, can anyone tell my why at this moment the reports are so uneven among the major networks:

    NBC: 207 / 199
    Yahoo: 237 / 199
    Fox: 210 / 144
    CBS: 246 / 207

    Answer that, then continue to F5, F5, F5...

    And do it in firefox, maybe the major news sites will notice in their logs.
    • CBS is giving Bush Ohio; which is BS when Cuyahoga and Hamilton counties (Cleveland and Cincinnati) have only reported 30-50% of their precincts. Cuyahoga currently shows a significant margin for Kerry, if that trend continues, that's another 100,000 or so Kerry votes in Ohio when it hits 100%. We're going to see the same thing we saw 4 years ago where one network will call a particular state and then find out 4 hours later that a certain place heavy to one side wasn't in yet and it changed the results.
      • Also, it looks like Kerry is set to take Nevada and New Hampshire; if you give Bush every other state that he had the last time, that puts it at 264-274, Colorado, New Mexico, and Ohio are all close enough that if any one of them goes to Kerry, he will probably win.

        So there you have, it's down to Ohio (which everyone expected), or Colorado and New Mexico, which no one expected to be much of a deciding factor.

        Don't expect this to end tonight; absentee ballots are very likely to be needed in a few states.
      • by demachina (71715) on Wednesday November 03, 2004 @02:20AM (#10708011)
        Its interesting exit polls have historically been pretty accurate which is why networks have relied on them for so long, until the Republicans started winning elections and especially as electronic voting came on the scene. As you recall in 2000 VNS exit polling predicted Gore won and he didn't. In 2002 the VNS exit polls mysteriously failed in a massive way and the Republicans had a big win. It was disbanded and an all new AP system was used today.

        Today apparently the exit polls were massively swinging to Kerry and it now appears he is losing the election. Curious that exit polls have gone completely south in just the last 4 years.

        It leads to two possibilities.

        1. The exit polls are really innacurate or maybe Democrat leaners were rigging them, of course rigging exit polls is kind of stupid since they don't count for anything other than maybe putting a little psychic pressure on late voters. Maybe they are just consistently bad but they are a pretty big sampling and its odd they would be as far off as they were apparently today. This is the message Fox and the Republicans were pounding on all night. The exit polls were all wrong and you need to fix them or get rid of them. Unfortunately at this point the exit poll are the only checks and balances we have on the truthfullness of the polls and especially electronic polling.

        2. The exit polls were accurate and someone was rigging the vote. Needless to say with widespread use of electronic voting machines, without paper trail, if someone rigged them to skew the vote to the Republicans you would see what we've seen today and it would be hard to prove thats what happened. The exit polls say Kerry wins and the voting machines say Bush wins. Unfortunately with no paper trail we may never know.

        If exit polls are wrong it should be setting off alarm bells that either they are wrong or the vote counts are wrong. You should not leap to the conclusion that it must be the exit polls as the media and Republican were tonight and probably will be from now on.

        One interesting thing to do would be to lock up a all the electronic voting machines in precincts in Ohio and Florida (Broward and Miami-Dade in particular where there is huge Democratic vote to suppress). Look in particular for precincts where exit polls said one thing and the machines said something else. Be sure to set the date back to the day of the election, set them exactly like they were on election day, and start entering votes on them in a semi random way at about the same rate voters would on all or most of the machines, and see if after a full day of voting they report an accurate vote.

        Another interesting exercise would be to correlate the map of precincts with electronic voting with precincts with bogus exit polls and see if there is a correlation.

        I think much of the data on them can be found on electionline.org.
        • One more option (Score:5, Insightful)

          by Shihar (153932) on Wednesday November 03, 2004 @03:14AM (#10708286)
          Last election I watched an exit poller. He had no method of randomly selecting people to poll as far as I could tell. The only pattern I could see is that he seemed to be more inclined to ask pretty young woman.

          Conspiracy theories aside, I think it is just bad polling. Democrats are generally younger. Younger people are generally prettier and look more approachable. It might be a small effect, but do it a few thousand times and it adds up. I am not saying that it isn't worth looking into, but my gut guess would be that it is simply poor random selection.
        • One interesting thing to do would be to lock up a all the electronic voting machines in precincts in Ohio and Florida (Broward and Miami-Dade in particular where there is huge Democratic vote to suppress). Look in particular for precincts where exit polls said one thing and the machines said something else. Be sure to set the date back to the day of the election, set them exactly like they were on election day, and start entering votes on them in a semi random way at about the same rate voters would on all
    • by TopShelf (92521) on Wednesday November 03, 2004 @01:56AM (#10707891) Homepage Journal
      Go here [mediamatters.org] and you can see the states getting called by each of the networks as it happens. It's been my favorite site to follow tonight...
    • From what I've gathered by reading the various sites, each news outlet is using their own modeling software to predict which states are a win for each candidate. Most have backed off and are producing more conservative numbers after the embarrassment of the 2000 election.

      Since everyone has their own software, variables are weighted differently. The commonly used variables are previous unofficial polls, previous election data, exit polls, and of course, the actual tallies themselves. California is sitti
  • Actual results and electoral college votes are the ones that matter.

    currently(12:18AM eastern):
    237-195 (ABC)
    234-188(CNN)
    246-207(Drudge)

    And this is already counting Californa, Kerry's mainstay of the late closing Western states.

  • I haven't been able to get to the Beeb since about 1930 PST. Presumably it's being crushed by the load of legit users, but I wonder if it might be actually under attack, too?
    • It was a bit flakey earlier on, appeared to briefly go down (DNS and all) but it's been fine ever since. Then again, I am in the UK, so perhaps they have put some geographical based IP filtering in place to alieviate some of the load. Anyway, they are currently showing Bush at 247 and Kerry at 195, but some of their data is *way* out of date compared to CNN, yet some appears to be ahead.
  • In Other News (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Jakhel (808204) on Wednesday November 03, 2004 @01:29AM (#10707754)
    Check out the exit polls [cnn.com]. Scroll down to what people believe are the most important qualities in a president. Only 7% said intelligence!!!!! HOLY FUCK!!! JESUS CHRIST, is this the country that I'm living in?!?!?!?
    • Dude, get a grip. That doesn't mean that people think that intelligence isn't important. But it's certainly the case that many intelligent people are utter morons when it comes to politics. There's more to being a good leader than having a good SAT score.
    • Re:In Other News (Score:3, Insightful)

      by FooAtWFU (699187)
      I for one don't care whether my President can solve Fermat's Last Theorem, score a 1600 on the SAT or anything like that. They don't need to. The Presidency is not rocket science. It's not a matter of intelligence, it's a matter of wisdom. This applies to both candidates.
      • Re:In Other News (Score:5, Insightful)

        by kfg (145172) on Wednesday November 03, 2004 @02:51AM (#10708170)
        There are very, very many 'intelligent' people with little to no wisdom.

        However, there are very, very few stupid people who do.

        KFG
      • stupid wise people (Score:4, Insightful)

        by wotevah (620758) on Wednesday November 03, 2004 @02:52AM (#10708175) Journal
        Intelligence has not much to do with the above, though it can definitely help there. Can you imagine a wise person lacking intelligence though ?
      • Re:In Other News (Score:5, Insightful)

        by Rhys (96510) on Wednesday November 03, 2004 @02:58AM (#10708215) Homepage
        The scary thing is that more people are concerned about the president's religious preferences/beliefs than his intelligence.

        That should scare you.
        • Re:In Other News (Score:3, Insightful)

          by ErikZ (55491)

          Well, no, not really.

          Why should it?

          I think the top concern that people have, even if they don't realize it, is "Is he married?"
      • I for one don't care whether my President can solve Fermat's Last Theorem, score a 1600 on the SAT or anything like that. They don't need to. The Presidency is not rocket science. It's not a matter of intelligence, it's a matter of wisdom. This applies to both candidates.

        It really depends. If your Intelligence is 13ish, and you're human, you can get an extra 4 skill points per level; you can also get Improved Knockdown and Improved Disarm. On the other hand, if you're playing a cleric or a ranger, Wisd
    • by zulux (112259)
      Only 7% said intelligence!!!!! HOLY FUCK!!! JESUS CHRIST, is this the country that I'm living in?!?!?!?


      Quick!!!! Flee to MENSA land while you can!!!!

  • Damn fine maneuvering, son. If it wasn't overloaded before, it's sure to get the mother of overloads now! :)

    GJC
  • by Art Tatum (6890) on Wednesday November 03, 2004 @01:31AM (#10707765)
    Where's all that "a 20% performance hit is not a big deal" crap now, bigmouth? :-)
  • Hmm (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Orne (144925)
    Is it just me, or is this guy (who's supposed to be this networking guru) is a little too careless with interchanging the words "attack" with "under heavy load"...

    Look, your site just got posted twice to Slashdot, not to mention Fark a few times, and is trumpeting itself as one of the best statistical predictors. Who knows how many other people have it hotlinked (since it had been promoting a Kerry win for a while), and are just clicking Refresh to see what you've changed... That doesn't correllate with
  • The site was slow when it was first linked to on slashdot (I could not connect the first time I tried), so why the hell is it so surprising that it's going down during the peak of the election when even more people will be viewing it and viewing it repeatedly? This isn't an "attack", just a lot of people using up a lot of bandwidth.
  • Might this be a good time to start using Coral caches?

  • by Peyna (14792) on Wednesday November 03, 2004 @02:13AM (#10707977) Homepage
    just some of the problems [electionpr...on2004.org] that went down today.

    It won't be over at least a week if not longer. So long as it's decided by inauguration day, we'll be okay.
  • by NotQuiteReal (608241) on Wednesday November 03, 2004 @02:15AM (#10707985) Journal
    This is one thing that I do watch TV for.

    Election returns.

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