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eSignal under attack

At 05-11-2006 02:00PM (PDT) and 3:56PM eSignal posted this information on their forum:

02:00PM We are currently experiencing an intentional distributed attack on our data centers. Our engineers are currently working on it at this time and more information to follow as we receive it. We apologize for any inconvenience and appreciate your patience.

3:56PM At approximately, 12:30pm, PDT, connectivity was restored to our Boxborough, MA server farm. All connectivity to our Hayward, CA farm is in the process of being redirected. We will have a post-fact analysis posted here detailing the issue within the next 24 hours.

It's a great pity that services like this that we use come under attack from malicious hackers. However, the really encouraging aspect is news such as this:

May 9, 2006 Jeanson James Ancheta, who used a network of zombie computers to rake in tens of thousands of dollars and buy himself a BMW, was sentenced to almost five years in federal prison on Monday.

Ancheta, of Downey, Calif., will serve 57 months in federal prison, followed by three years of supervised release for violating provisions of the U.S. Computer Fraud Abuse Act and the CAN-SPAM Act, according to the sentence handed down in Los Angeles by U.S. District Judge R. Gary Klausner. The sentence is one of the longest ever given for spreading computer viruses, according to a statement by the U.S. Attorney's office in Los Angeles.

So even though this was a large inconvenience to traders on this day, hopefully the perpetrator of the attack will eventually be caught and spend several years behind bars.
eSignal's subsequent notes on their problem yesterday:

The mechanism eSignal uses to manage customer authentication and connectivity experienced a serious issue at approximately 9:30 am Pacific Standard Time, three hours after US market open on May 11th, 2006. Our investigation and analysis indicated to us that an excessive amount of network traffic was propagating throughout the network, which caused slow and intermittent connection problems at our main Data Centers in Hayward and Boxborough, while our co-locations remained operating normally.

In addition, our call routing system, on-line LiveRep support and internet sites were also affected. Other effects of this issue were that some clients were unable to connect to eSignal data servers, and there is an 8 minute gap in historical data. While this issue was serious and affected many clients attempting to connect, fortunately, many other clients were unaffected due to eSignal's extensive redundancy and fault-tolerant network architecture.

The nature of this particular issue made it difficult to isolate through ordinary operating procedures, which explains why this issue persisted as long as it did. This has since been isolated and is being thoroughly examined by eSignal Engineers and Network Personnel to ensure that we avoid this type of issue in the future.

Does this mean that there wasn't a DDoS (Distributed Denial of Service) attack?