June 17, 2014

Panic Ensues! DDOS Attack Brings Ancestry and FindAGrave Down

Panic Ensues! DDOS Attack Brings Ancestry and FindAGrave Down
Screen Capture from
http://www.isitdownrightnow.com/ancestry.com.html
Caveat: This is a personal opinion and a bit of a rant about the nonsense that swept Facebook and Twitter yesterday. If you don't care what I think about it, stop reading now. I won't be offended.

Yesterday saw much weeping and wailing and gnashing of teeth. Ancestry.com and it's site FindAGrave site fell victim to a sustained DDOS (Distributed Denial of Service) Attack. For those who thought it was their own computer or internet service preventing them from accessing Ancestry.com you can rest easy. You can read updates at https://www.facebook.com/Ancestry.com

Briefly a DDOS attack comes from hackers on multiple computers that send out bots to hit the designated website's servers. Because there are so many bots and they can hit the server in a never-ending barrage, the server is overloaded and can't deal with the requests from legitimate users. Then the site slows to a crawl or stops working completely. It can be difficult for the technicians to figure out where the bots are coming from in order to block them.

 Yesterday saw Facebook and Twitter flooded with cries of "Is anyone else having trouble getting to Ancestry?" It quickly became apparent that none of the people posting knew about the site IsItDownRightNow at http://www.isitdownrightnow.com This site allows you to check on the status of any site on the Internet. That's a much better idea than hundreds if not thousands of people posting the same question. 

But back to the shouting and weeping and wailing and gnashing of teeth. This didn't come from Ancestry (although I'm sure they have been wiping sweat from their brows as they work diligently to stop the attacks). This reaction came from hundreds of people who posted angry messages on Ancestry's Facebook page. The responses ranged from anger ("This is BS - fix the problem!!" "I pay good money for this service!!") to despair ("I was going to do research today, now what?") It was obvious that most of those posting have no idea what a DDOS attack is and how difficult it can be to stop it. I don't criticize them because they aren't aware of these technical issues, but I do shake my head when those shouting the loudest could not be bothered to go and read up about what is involved.

A similar DDOS attack hit Feedly and Evernote last week. It is a BIG DEAL. It can take days to stop the bots from attacking the site. These recent hackers tried to extort money from the companies, with promises to stop the attack if they were paid.

I wish those who were ranting and raving about the problem knew what they were talking about. Those saner heads who tried to calm folks down with explanations of a DDOS attack and links where folks could read about it were shouted down and accused of being Ancestry shills. It was quite disturbing to see the lynch mob mentality that took over.

As for those who were whimpering about not being able to do their research or access their family tree (because we all know how dreadfully IMPORTANT it is to check something on that tree RIGHT NOW!!!!) what about taking a break and doing something else? Phone your favourite aunt or sister. Visit friends. Bake cookies. Read a good book. Play with your kids. DO SOMETHING ELSE!

Good grief! Not being able to get to Ancestry for the day is a first world problem. Think about it! There are children starving in other parts of the world. Women are being stoned for marrying without their parents' approval. People are being shot for being Christians. Those are big deals. Not accessing Ancestry or FindAGrave for a day are small issues in the overall scheme of life.


63 comments:

Catherine said...

Well said about it not being the end of the world not to be able to access your family tree for a few hours...your rellies are dead...they are not going anywhere! Go and watch the football (soccer) World Cup...I don't understand all the rules either, but it's good fun to watch 22 grown men chase a ball around a pitch for 90 mins! :-)

Donna McManus said...

Thank you! I don't think I could have said this better.

BernieH said...

Amen

Andrea said...

Well said. Do your research before you nash your teeth, remember technology is complicated, and remember it is really a first world problem.

Carmen Johnson said...

Well said...I deal with the internet daily in my job and there are always ebb and flows in the internet based on something that we have no control over.

Rita Lancefield said...

Thanks, Lorine, for posting this voice of reason. Life, and the internet, is not perfect! We all need to slow down and put this kind of event in perspective, which you have done very well. Ancestry WILL be back up, we WILL all get to go back to our research. In the meantime I think of my father, who did genealogy the old-fashioned way - waiting weeks for an answer to a letter so he could go the next step. We are very spoiled with instant gratification.

Dana said...

I just realized there was a problem a few hours ago. My fear was that all of my information might be gone forever! I was looking at various blogs & places trying to see if something was being written about it. I wasn't aware of the site & don't really use Facebook.

For me, it's a good reminder to back up your files! Ancestry is where I keep all of my current work. I did download my tree, by chance, last month. But it's been a long time since I downloaded my husbands. Though I have backup measures for files on my computer, I don't have a backup for my ancestry tree. And, it would feel awful if I lost all of that work!

Thanks for the post and the information about what is happening.

Nancy said...

Catherine, I love your comment; I may steal it. :)

Anonymous said...

Perhaps the funniest comment yet over at "Is it down right now?"...

Marty Greenlief...

Ancestry.com is still down, so I spent some time with my (living) family.

They seem like nice people.

Lisa Marker said...

Yep, first world problem, indeed. Guess how many other websites there are that have genealogy info on them - go check out another one, if you are just desperate. Or, hey, go outside!! Take a break! Breathe.

Anonymous said...

The ignorant whiners are also likely those whose computers are compromised and part of the very botnet that's causing these whiners' current tantrums. I do miss 1995. ;-)

Patti said...

I didn't even know about this. I don't have a Twitter, and I rarely go on Facebook. And I've been busy working on a photo book of vintage photos and writing a family narrative, so I haven't been on Ancestry in several days. Obviously, I am able to function without the site for a few days!

2 summers ago, our home internet was out for about 5 days (waiting on a part). I found myself freaking out about it...I mean, how could I live without my email for that long?

Fortunately, I came to realize that email is largely just a convenience. If I really NEED to tell someone something, or they really NEED to get to me, the phone works just fine.

We are an impatient, want-it-now society, and that is to our detriment.

Steve Chernoff said...

While I agree with most of your "rant", I do take issue with assuming access to Ancestry is a trivial matter. There are some professional genealogists who do use Ancestry as part of the way they earn a living. So, yes, people could have investigated before moaning; but their concern wasn't necessarily because they couldn't play with their hobby.

Anonymous said...

I understand it is frustrating, but I have enough to do that it didn't really affect me...other than checking to see if it is back just to see if it is back!

However, I do have to say, while I know about and use isitdownrightnow.com, my experience has been that it is not always reliable, and has told me something is up and running even when it clearly is not, as per tweet from the provider.

Lorine McGinnis Schulze said...

Glad I'm not the only one who thought the over-reactions were ridiculous!

Steve - I don't think it matters whether folks were upset/annoyed over loss of income or because they couldn't conduct their personal research. After all, Ancestry is losing money every day the site isn't up and running and so are all their affiliates (those who have Ancestry ads on their own sites or blogs)

But the bottom line is that it IS a trivial matter in the overall scheme of the universe AND there is nothing can be done by those losing money so why moan and gripe and carry on about it?

And it's less of a huge issue for a professional genealogist than others because that pro can simply work on other tasks or do their search on other sites or (gasp) in an actual archive or library!

I also have clients for whom I conduct research. But there is always something else to do such as start writing their report, or look elsewhere or....

Anonymous said...

There is usually a reason for the DDoS attacks.. I wonder what the reasoning is? Perhaps it's the price gouging? LOL

Laura Cosgrove Lorenzana said...

Yes, yes, yes. Do you remember when it used to take weeks to get a response from a repository? Or months? Back in the stone age, when I started doing my research, I spent two days working at the Newberry to locate information on my long-ago ancestors. Today, as a Professional Genealogist, Ancestry.com is the LAST place I look for material. There are some amazing resources there, but it should not be a Pro's 'go-to' site. IMHO

Anonymous said...

Well said.
But I would add that Ancestry could have done a better job of communicating they were under a DDoS attack - that would have helped to calm the masses.

Mike said...

But are they trying to fix it themselves rather than use a service such as clouldflare ??

When spamhaus got hit by a DDOS, they made use of cloudflare and were back up in pretty short order ( http://blog.cloudflare.com/the-ddos-that-almost-broke-the-internet )

Lorine McGinnis Schulze said...

Afraid I don't agree that Ancestry could have done a better job of communicating. First off I'm sure they were scrambling to solve the problem - and it's not likely that without direction from on high, anyone would take it on themselves to send out some kind of notice.

But more importantly, they did post on their Facebook page and their blog. I didn't check to see if they posted from their Twitter account but would be surprised if they didn't.

Next, since the servers crashed, it is unlikely that emails could be sent from that same server.

And back to the idea that it really isn't a big deal in the overall scheme of life. Folks need to relax, chill out and wait for sites to come back.

Anonymous said...

Actually the ancestry.com site is STILL non-functional. You can now "see" the site, but you cannot DO anything.

You are missing the fact that ancestry.com has been effectively down (i.e. non-functional) for one or more days almost every month this year since January. It is not just THIS time that is the problem.

And ancestry.com personnel NEVER take any responsibility for WHY the site is non-functional - just like this time. And they never communicate realistic expectations to their customers regarding when the site will really work again - just like this time . . .

Anne said...

I totally agree with you and couldn't have said it better.

Anonymous said...

Communication could have been much better. Not emailing every subscriber is not to be expected, but tweets, facebook updates, etc. could have gone out in short order (and don't require access to Ancestry's servers).

While DDOS attacks can take days to stop, identifying the problem is not difficult or time consuming. Better yet, just acknowledging that your site is down and has been for 30 minutes, an hour, 2 hours, etc. Ancestry did not say *anything* until half a day had gone by.

As the above article bemoans, much of the outcry was do to the lack of technological knowledge of Ancestry's subscriber base. However, this does not mean an internet-based company that raked in over $100M in revenue last quarter can eschew timely communications with its customers. In the age of the internet, timely would be acknowledging the site is down within the hour.

Lorine McGinnis Schulze said...

Anonymous - since you seem to think that Ancestry is to blame for this outage, it's apparent you don't understand what a DDOS attack is.

I can't refute your claims that the site has been down for 2 days each month since January but since I use the site every day and have not experienced one single outage in that time period until yesterday, I have to wonder how long these previous outages lasted.

Lois Johnson said...

Thank you, I'm with you and your comments.
I was one of the ones trying to explain, and being appalled at the temper tantrums. I hoped genealogists could behave better than three-year-olds! I was wrong in some cases. I do remember doing genealogy when it was a case of going to the place the records were stored, calling and writing, and waiting... We are too much into instant gratification.

Anonymous said...

So you're complaining about the complainers...how superior of you.

DeeReneeChesnut said...

I did not try to get on Ancestry.com directly. I was in the midst of trying to download my export files from myfamily.com, and I have been unable to make a connection for more than 1 file for two days now.
Those of us who are anxious about exporting information from one of the five subsidiaries in our window of opportunity are only more anxious when we don't know what is happening.

Lorine McGinnis Schulze said...

Anonymous - and how cowardly of you to hide behind the name "Anonymous". If you wish to be rude to me or call me names, at least have the courtesy and honesty to give your real name.

The caveat at the start of my blog post warned readers this was my opinion of the drama and over-reactions that went on yesterday (and in fact continue today!)

But you are entitled to your opinion (as wrong as it might be...) which is why I allowed your unsigned comment to go through instead of deleting it.

Have a wonderful day.

Anonymous said...

It appears that ACOM may have engaged the services of "Prolexic.com", an anti-DDoS enterprise...

http://www.prolexic.com

As to the perp and motivation, my guess is a disgruntled (and likely psychotic) devoteƩ of some genealogy entity that ACOM has decided to shelve.

Witholding my name as the whingers will just have another go at me said...

Having witnessed the apocalypse from the UK Ancestry site I can say the reports of "gnashing & wailing" are exactly the same on Ancestry's UK Facebook page. Best one I've seen is some complete and utter muppet ("muppet" is NOT a compliment in the UK) demanding two months free access in compensation for the one day's loss of access. Unfortunately as your article says even when the reasons for the site being down are explained and assurances given that their accounts and data are safe it simply goes over 99% of users heads and they still carry on whingeing like toddlers denied their toys. Thanks for a sane and wholly justified article.

Lynda French said...

f this is a DDOS attack it can have varying levels of severity point: http://blog.eogn.com/2014/06/17/ancestry-com-and-findagrave-com-outages/

Mine is still down (has had brief moments today of up but mostly down since yesterday). So, we all need to continue to be patient and realize IF DDOS attack this is not the fault of ancestry. Slow communication to us about the problem could be due to taking them awhile to find out how long it might take or what was going on.

There is currently a radio advertisement running on Station 106.2 (I just heard it about an hour ago - I think 106.2 comes out of Sulphur OK but not sure) as an introductory for interested persons to get total FREEE ACCESS to ancestry from today (Tuesday) through Sunday. I'm not sure how wide spread this advertisement is geographically, but it is probably an advertisement that ancestry should withdraw until such time the problem is resolved, as a promo starting today is not good advertisement for sure.

AnonymousCoward said...

("muppet" is NOT a compliment in the UK)

I don't think it's a compliment here either.

Anonymous said...

Whose whining about the whiners? While I do not hold anger for ancestry for being attacked, and am in fact supportive of them in this instance, their performance lately may be the reason folks feel ancestry is responsible. I use the product everyday and I have an IT background. I feel justified in saying that operationally there is a lot to criticize. A when communications to the users are spun like "a little outage" or "intermittant problems" , one feels the ancestry folks are letting the marketing people do the comm. Please give us honestly we can respect, and a forum where we can present criticisms of a constructive nature. We don't need another "phone company"!

Anonymous said...

Every major commercial website should anticipate that an attack such as this could occur and have contingency and recovery plans in place. It appears Ancestry did not. The CTO will have a lot of 'splainin' to do.

Lorine McGinnis Schulze said...

Mike and Anonymous - thanks for the info about sites that can be used to help stop a DDOS attack. I wasn't aware of them.

Thanks everyone for your thought-provoking comments, I am really enjoying reading what you all have to say - yes, even those I don't necessarily agree with :-)

Rebecca said...

Lorine, thanks so much for this post. The lynch mob mentality seems to come out often on Facebook (and perhaps on other "social" sites but FB happens to be the one I use). And that mentality shows up on all kinds of posts, the worst ones being in political comments or comments on some issue. I've frequently considered leaving FB because of this particular thing and I may leave it for good one of these days. LOVED your suggestions about what to do instead of what you'd planned to do in these instances. I couldn't have said it anywhere near as well as you did and I really appreciated the info you gave and the way you presented it. Bravo!

John Brugliera said...

Fully agreed. Jumping to conclusions benefits no one and only shows how IGNORANT some people can be. Perhaps if they implemented their logical genealogy skills, they may have thought (as I did), "the two sites must be under attack". Unfortunately, I don't see this ending anytime soon. The senseless attacks OR the blatant ignorance.

Stanlee said...

"For those who thought it was their own computer or internet service preventing them from accessing Ancestry.com you can rest easy." … or not rest easy. As was pointed out, too many of the computers in the botnet required to carry out that extensive of a DDoS are undoubtedly computers of ancestry.com users themselves! Because too many people on the interwebs are in denial about safe s̶e̶x̶ er safe interwebbing, so instead they retreat into their fantasy world where slapping some anti-virus software onto their computer and setting it to Auto updates, Auto scan, Auto everything… will keep them perfectly safe. No matter how many questionable links they click upon. No matter how many sketchy sites they visit. They send attachments to each other and spread the malware infections that way. They respond to emailed phishing attempts, but hey, their anti-virus software found all the infections again today so no big deal, right?

No, it is a big deal because all the other people who educate themselves about malware and wisely surf the web do NOT get malware on their computers daily/weekly/monthly. Instead, they get malware *rarely*. So please pardon me for HAHAHAHAHA at the whiners who couldn't get in ancestry for a tiny bit of time, but they are the exact reason the DDoS succeeded so well. ��

Anonymous said...

Lorine, perhaps you should take your own advice and not be offended at other peoples' opinions.

Don Hartman said...

We have 5 cemetery postings for York County, PA that are waiting on Ancestry to fix its issues. Too bad they do not use a carrier that would resolve DDOS issues in the carrier network.

Lorine McGinnis Schulze said...

Hi Anonymous. Not sure what opinion you thought "offended" me? I wasn't offended by any comments published here.

What does irk me is people who hide behind the label "Anonymous" to post comments.

I've mentioned it before. I wish I had some easy way to not allow Anonymous comments. I believe in transparency and that means not hiding who you are when you have something to say.

All opinions are welcome here.

Jess McManus said...

What gets me is all these people basically telling me to go do something else and that Ancestry.com being down is not going to cause the end of the world. To Those people, I would also like to tell them the same thing they are telling everyone else, do your research! There are actually people who JOBS/CAREERS depend upon being able to access not only Ancestry.com but hundreds of other genealogy sites are well. WE are called genealogist and people PAY us to use these site as well as do on-site research for them. So, YES, the site being down for three days IS a big deal. How would you like doing without 3 days worth of your pay? If we don't get to work, we don't get paid. PERIOD!

And I DID do my research about DDoS attacks. And I was able to make the decision that there are many sites MUCH larger that do not experience such attacks. I also determined that there are certain precautions that can keep such attacks at bay. And it also appears that Ancestry.com was not doing such a great job at protecting itself from such an attack.

Then I have to wonder, what would have prompted such an attack? WHY would anyone want to crash Ancestry.com and it's associated sites? Just what has Ancestry.com done to warrant that? HMMM.....let me ponder that one for a bit....2 years of their website already crashing several times each month, Ancestry.com still charging people after they cancel their subscriptions, and now Ancestry.com dropping not one, but several services that people use and have expected to be available to them when they paid their subscriptions. No, I can't think of any reason at all....;)

Lorine McGinnis Schulze said...

Jess - I hardly know where to start! There are MANY other sites that provide data you can use in your client research.

By the way I too am losing money every day Ancestry is down. I conduct paid research for clients, I write genealogy-history books and I have Ancestry ads on my blog and my websites. So I'm losing money but screaming about it doesn't seem productive to me.

Genealogy-work wise I'm working on other projects, starting my client reports, analyzing records I found previously, and checking out other websites that have information of value to me. There are lots of them

And again, a DDOS attack occurs because some idiots decide to target a website - usually a large company that they can attempt to coerce money from.

No site is immune from the possibility. When Feedly was hit last week it took them days to recover. Evernote was also hit that same week but they recovered faster (perhaps they paid the ransom demanded?)

Yes it's inconvenient that Ancestry is offline. But is it really worth all the shouting and anger and energy some are using to express their annoyance?

What happened to patience? Have we become such a "Give it to me NOW" society that we can't relax and accept that THINGS BEYOND OUR CONTROL HAPPEN!

Stanlee said...

Is this another DDoS attack that is attempting to extort money from Ancestry? http://www.afterdawn.com/news/article.cfm/2014/06/12/evernote_and_feed_ly_servers_were_hit_by_ddos_attacks_as_criminals_tried_to_extort_money

Whatever is going on, I hope Ancestry has the good sense to break off it's various entities so that if, ie, there's another attack against Ancestry, only Ancestry is impacted instead of their entire collection of websites.

Anonymous said...

In light of the "Target" Attack that left customers credit card information vulnerable..
I don't think it's unreasonable for people to become upset..
Ancestry's business is Credit Card Based..
Also Companies who go Bankrupt don't Necessarily do the Honorable thing and stop taking payments I know 1st hand..
Ancestry claims it was Only down Tuesday but it is still offline at the Family history center in Michigan Otsego & Antrim County.
"When the Paper Boy don't come for 2-3 days, It ain't wrong to start asking questions"

Lorine McGinnis Schulze said...

Anonymous - your comment proves my point about people not understanding what a DDOS attack is.

Someone hacking into a website (as was done with Target) is NOT the same as a DDOS attack.

A hacker gets into the site and can steal information.

A DDOS attack disrupts the server the site is on by sending multiple "hits" that overwhelm the server so it can't function. The site is NOT broken into and NO data or information is compromised.

Also Ancestry has never claimed it was only offline on Tuesday. Their update this morning (Wed) stated clearly that there were still intermittent issues with access.

I have been able to access it off and on all day with zero problems. But I have obviously just been lucky enough to log in when it's working properly.

Anonymous said...

My favorite comment..."So you're complaining about the complainers. How superior of you." :)

Lorine McGinnis Schulze said...

And this is MY favourite comment - posted of course by "Anonymous", another person hiding behind that label....

"My favorite comment..."So you're complaining about the complainers. How superior of you." :)"

Why is it my favourite? It made me laugh! It seemed very obvious that the anonymous person who posted it first was not happy with me jabbing back....

What better way to respond than to pretend you are someone else and comment how much you like your own comment! Sign it "Anonymous" and no one knows who really wrote it.

I wonder how many of the comments signed "Anonymous" are actually from one person desperate to be heard....



Colin said...

Well said.

Corinne Lyons said...

I got tired of reading all the boo hoo comments. I have been using Ancestry.com since early in 2006 and this is only the second time I have seen any trouble. Yes, I experienced it and, no, this is not my "money in my pocket" business. BUT .... my problem with all these screamers is just that. They scream and carry on and are NASTY. I find that, more and more, every day, all of this connection to other people has not made people nicer ... it has made them NASTIER. I find kindness to be the exception, and not the rule... that people seem to be more prone to be nasty than nice. I know we are are human and, therefore, have faults. But, COME ON PEOPLE. Learn to be nicer. Stop jumping to immediately trash someone. Slow down!!! BE KINDER!

JAK said...

I've used ancestry.com for years and have experienced down time but not often or long. I didn't try logging on during the DDOS attack so I can't speak to that.

The point of the original post was about the tone of comments on ancestry.com's FB and Twitter accounts. Can anyone who uses either actually truthfully say they are surprised by them? I'm not. The Internet is annonymous, whether one uses real names are not, it's faceless and therefore people feel free to be nasty, rude, whatever they please. It won't end no matter what the rest of us do. My recommendation is to block or ignore them. That's all we have.

bldgdiva said...

Wow- Who would have thought that in the world of past,dead relatives, one could encounter such rude and obviously angry people. Many comments seem a lot like a mob scene where under some initial touch point, people rage on, when those same people probably wouldn't ordinarily do that in public. At least that is my hopeful assumption. Outlet for ugliness perhaps? Alternatives, people! Go chop wood, fix a salad, running off your energy might be better than this verbal aggression. Surely we all know that this is not constructive to anyone's life.

William said...

Rootsweb on retirement list. From today's Facebook for Ancestry.com: "The following websites are currently offline: MyFamily, MyCanvas, Rootsweb, Mundia, Y-DNA/mt-DNA, and Genealogy.com. (Please note we will be extending the retirement date on each of these and will have details to share once these sites are restored.)"

William said...

Late on the 16th of June (PST between 11pm and midnight) I was working with Family Tree Maker and Ancestry.com. I do not know the actual source of the problem, as I was using a combination of different internet sites at almost the same time. But it is possible that my problem came from Ancestry.com. In fact, I believe the problem did come fom Ancestry.com. It can't just be a coincidence, I believe. I may be wrong. My computer was infected with virus that installed a number of programs that causes my computer's efficiency to drop from about 80% to 35% of capacity. Norton Internet Security did not detect the problem. Programs started to crash, menu item selections had unexpected results, and there were odd pop up windows, replacing the normal display. I did what I could to clean up the mess. Programs have stopped crashing, but there are unexplained freeze ups, and delays that continue. I have charts and diagrams of the effects caused by this infection that I can share with you. The virus installed: safesearch.xml for Firefox, user.js for Firefox, a folder in the root directory of my hard drive named C:\ProgramData\~0, PackageAware, Optimizer Pro in my Documents folder. A larce number of additions were made to my registry. There were a few other programs not detected by my maintenance utility that I removed, but don't remember the names. Obviously I didn't clean out all of the problem, as evidenced by the still remaining 45% loss in my computer's efficiency.

Unknown said...

Glad I avoid Facebook and Twitter. That said, where I live Ancestry was down for five days and some functions (now on day 7) are still a little blitzed. Not a big deal in the normal course of things but this denial of service happened on the days leading up to a long-planned and long distance research trip. Without a functioning Ancestry.com my weekend of archival digging would have been seriously restricted and I would have had to pay for gas, food, and lodging a second time at some unknown date in the future. Regardless of personal inconvenience, I detest pests and hope they can find and punish whoever did this.

Anonymous said...

Seems to me that if you really dont care that Ancestry.com is down, why are you so worried that someone ELSE cares that Ancestry.com is down?

If you dont care, then fine, but for those who do care, how is it such a big deal to you that they are trying to get more information than "we are working on it"?

calm down and worry or dont worry, but stop concerning yourself over what someone else should be allowed to worry about.

I also dont care to hear rationalizations about "first world problems" / starving kids in africa, because if your credit card statement has 10k in purchases on it you did not make, or the power company turns off your service due to your bank having a online banking glich, you are not going to accept the same advice that you are dishing out to others about "first world problems" and simply ignore it.

Legacy Tree said...

As far as wait time for being back up and running, this was better than a World War II genealogy delay. :)

http://genealogistsblog.legacytree.com/2014/06/ancestrys-cyber-attack-and-look-at.html

Lorine McGinnis Schulze said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Lorine McGinnis Schulze said...

Sigh. Dear "Anonymous" - my question to you is this

Why are you hiding your real name? You have an opinion and you obviously want it heard.

STAND UP FOR WHAT YOU BELIEVE AND SIGN YOUR NAME TO IT!

I think you misunderstood the point of my blog post, which was that the reaction from many was over the top.

It was like listening to a room full of 2 year olds having temper tantrums.

It is always okay to ask for information and question an organization but there are much better ways to do so.

It's not about caring vs not caring. I lost money every single day Ancestry and Rootsweb were down. Believe me, I care about that.

What happened to manners? What happened to patience and sanity?

Lorine McGinnis Schulze said...

Great perspective, Legacy Tree. Thanks for being another voice of reason :-)

Anonymous said...

Mrs. Shultze.. I noted that you did not answer my question, but instead created a entire new bone of contention which is my identity.

I dont feel its beneficial to run around the internet giving personal identifiers. Anyone of our elite "authorities" - under the guise or claim of 'protecting' us from some threat or another -already knows who I am.

None of this is relevant to the fact that the most striking phenomenon of the very prolonged outage of ancestry.com owned sites is the factor of a wave of bloggers raging NOT that ancestry.com was out of service for a prolonged period, but raging because other people did not believe ancestry.com's account of what happened.

Please keep in mind that a lot of such users who were affected are involuntarily connected to ancestry.com, such as longtime rootsweb or findagrave members.

These folks never wanted to be part of ancestry.com in most cases and predicted such problems from such a buyout. Rootsweb owes virtually none of its content or data to ancestry.com and for this reason it irks people legitimately that they were the last restored.. two weeks after what was claimed to ONLY be a DoS attack that damaged no data.

I understand why those who feel ancestry.com HAS BEEN invaluable to them want to defend the company, but I also understand why those people who see ancesty.com as a juggernaut behemoth buying up user-created and user-funded sites, once they gain a user base, are pretty angry that their captive sites did not come on line until a week after ancestry.com's pay site.

There is always more than one side to a story, and in this case there are at least two factions who are unhappy with ancestry.com -
1) those who dont believe the DoS account offered by ancestry.com staff
2) those who were members of valuable sites long before ancestry.com acquired them, who noted that there sites were not even addressed til a week later, and were empty of all data when they first came back online from what was claimed to be a Dos attack.

Some real mean-ness and insults were directed at the later two groups by people lining up to praise ancesty.com unconditionally.

My point still stands - If its that concerning to you that other people care so much about this service outage and the way the company handled it,
why do you care so much what these people think and have so much interest in what they do or do not care about?

I can understand why ancestry.com linked to a story on its facebook page that made fun of anyone asking these sorts of questions and labeling them wacky or nutty, but I dont see a reason to interject in a business dispute between someone else and a company they have a paid membership with.
If you dont care that the service is out for a prolonged period no one should concern themselves over your lack of concern,
but I feel that in reverse it makes little sense to me that some folks need to tell others what they are permitted or entitled to be concerned about.

Lorine McGinnis Schulze said...

Anonymous:

1. Anyone who wants to be heard, and taken seriously, needs to tell others who they are. Stand behind your opinion!

2. You must have missed the part in my last comment where I explained that I cared as much as anyone else that Ancestry was not functional. However I didn't scream, cry out "Conspiracy!!" or freak out about it

3. Re Rootsweb: Ancestry is a business. Sensible business practice is to put your revenue stream as a top priority. What is so difficult to understand about that?

4. As an aside - Randy, the technician who runs Rootsweb was in hospital in serious condition throughout the DDOS attack (and before). There was no one available quickly to fill in for him

5. My surname is SCHULZE not SHULTZE as you spelled it. It is posted on every page of my blog, on every blog article I write and on every comment I leave here.

I hope this clarifies some things that you seem concerned about

Nicholas Weerts said...

What a great original post! I'm sorry I've been behind in my blog reading and I'm only getting to it now!

It definitely brings attention to a larger problem in society today-- lack of patience, understanding, kindness, etc. With the internet and all its greatness, we've become accustomed to 'instant gratification'... and it's difficult when that is taken away.

I think many seasoned genealogists, who have been at this long before the internet & Ancestry.com, realize that sites such as Findagrave & Ancestry should really just be 'tools' in our genealogy toolbox.

If you are dependent on Ancestry to do your genealogy... perhaps you should re-evaluate the way you organize your hobby or business. Personally, I would NEVER maintain the 20+ years of research I've accumulated in one spot...

Perhaps some of this comes from the issues involving today's genealogists? Many of whom seem to be 'collectors' rather than 'researchers'... but that's a hot topic for another day.

Again, it was a great post & there were some great comments. Though, if there is a way, I think, in the future, you should delete all comments from "Anonymous" posters. A person who is only confident sharing their views (& often rudeness) behind Anonymity, is just like spam to me. They offer nothing to discussions, because they choose to hide behind their cloak...and we all know why.