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Attrition.org to Cease Mirroring Defacements

May 22, 2001, 18:30 (5 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Thor Olavsrud)

By Thor Olavsrud, InternetNews.com

Attrition.org, which has long kept track of Web site defacement activity, announced Monday that it will no longer maintain mirrors of defaced sites.

Attrition, in the words of its staff members, "is a non-profit hobby site run by a handful of volunteers in their free time." While it may be a volunteer effort, the result has become a primary destination for security professionals and journalists seeking information about the latest hacker attacks.

But those attacks have been steadily increasing in scope.

"What began as a small collection of Web site defacement mirrors soon turned into a near 24/7 chore of keeping it up to date," Attrition said. "In the last month, we have experienced single days of mirroring over 100 defaced Web sites, over three times the total for 1995 and 1996 combined. With the rapid increase in Web defacement activity, there are times when it requires one of us to take mirrors for four or five hours straight to catch up."

On top of that, volunteers have struggled to maintain other parts of the site, turning the "hobby" into a harrying second job.

"In essence, what was once a hobby site run in spare time for fun has turned into a beleaguering second job," Attrition said. "A job that comes with more headache, complaints, criticisms, slander and attacks than productive output or reward. In two years we have turned away countless computer security work that could have been fulfilled by a number of us. The abuse and ignorance we deal with from defacers and defacement victims is staggering, and some of that abuse spills over into actual attacks. Attrition has been taken down more than once by massive denial of service attacks which have inconvenienced our generous upstream provider, hundreds of other colo customers, and thousands of dialup customers, making our job even more difficult."

That is not to say that Attrition is going away. The mirrors will no longer be maintained, but other sections will remain and will have more attention and resources thrown their way. Attrition will continue to perform statistical analysis of defacements utilizing the Alldas mirror, and will continue to provide commentary and articles on high profile defacements, significant trends and other activity that "warrants attention."

The volunteers plan to bring back and revamp the errata section, and also plan to pay more attention to the image gallery, music reviews, movie reviews, poetry, contests and 'Going Postal' areas.