The group that has been launching denial-of-service attacks against DegreeInfo in the past couple of days is once again hitting us, and it seems clear that their intent and desire is to take DegreeInfo completely down. In addition to hitting our main server with a DOS attack, the same group is now sending spam messages (with forged headers indicating they are coming from us) in John Bear's name, claiming that, among other things, DegreeInfo is going into the porn business, and making various libelous statements toward John. (This is particularly interesting, in that John has no connection whatsoever with DegreeInfo, other than as a regular contributor and friend.) We have blocked the DOS attacks for now, and are working with our ISP and upstream bandwidth providers (both of whom completely understand the nature of the attacks and the fact that they are bogus) to reconfigure around the problem, but we will probably continue to have intermittent periods of unavailability. We are also adding mirrors and other redundancy to further fortify the site. Regular users may want to note the following URLs (none of which are yet active, but are in the process of being activated) which will eventually contain mirrors of the degreeinfo site: dltalk.com dl-talk.com degreeinfo.net mirror.degreeinfo.com It's pretty clear that the reason for these attacks is that DegreeInfo is becoming more effective in its mission: to help those seeking distance learning opportunities to find high-quality accredited schools. The launch of our new DegreeFinder database has been a big success, and we will, over the coming months, continue to upgrade and enhance the database with additional features, more schools, and other resources to maintain our position as the most complete and valuable resource for information on distance learning programs on the Net. In the meantime, we need your help in several ways. -- Financial support. If you can afford to either make a paypal contribution or order our "Succcess in Distance Learning" CD or Bears' Guide 15, that will help. The costs of additional servers, the bandwidth waste caused by the attacks, assistance from network security specialists, and so forth are so far being paid out of the minuscule revenues we're bringing in from advertising and book and tape sales revenues, with the shortfalls being made up out of the pockets of the DegreeInfo founders. Contributions can be made through PayPal ([email protected]) or made by check (payable to degreeinfo.com, LLC) and mailed to PO Box 7956, Berkeley, CA 94707. -- Technical support. If you are (or know of) a network security specialist that can offer assistance to our team, that would be appreciated. We've got some pretty high-end people helping out, but the more brains the better. -- Spread the word. The last time a major attack occurred, it generated some major press coverage for us that helped bring a large number of new participants, further enriching and enhancing our community. We're hopeful that the same can happen this time. If you know of friends, associates, co-workers, or others who would benefit from DegreeInfo's resources, please tell them about our site, encourage them to visit, learn about schools, read the forums, buy books and so forth. -- Good karma and thoughts. The reason we're getting hit is because we're becoming more effective in hitting our target audience, and the diploma mills behind the attacks are probably either feeling the pinch, or are worried that they will soon begin to feel the pinch. It won't hurt for our regular users to send good thoughts and energy our way. Thanks much for your continued support! Regards, Chip Nate Nathan Bill Bruce Russ DegreeInfo admin and moderation team.