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Published: Tuesday, 5/11/2010

Online Blade access interrupted


A mysterious surge in online traffic at Buckeye CableSystem may have contributed to a virtual shutdown of access Monday to The Blade's Web site, www.toledoblade.com.

W.H. "Chip" Carstensen, president of Buckeye CableSystem, said last night he was still trying to get information on the extent of the outage and of any other businesses that might have been affected.

He said if any Buckeye customers suffered loss of service because of the fault of Buckeye, they would be reimbursed for lost value.

Anyone still having trouble this morning accessing The Blade's site can go to the following address: http://toedit.sx.atl.publicus.com.

Malcolm Edge, The Blade's director of information technology, said a "denial of service attack" was overloading the Buckeye server. He said he did not know why the server was not functioning.

"All of our settings are fine," he said.

Joe Jensen, chief technology officer for Buckeye, said the problem appeared to be limited to users who do not have a redundancy backup that directs users to both internal and external domain name servers.

"As far as I know, the customers who have the correct configuration pointing to both internal and external servers have not had a problem," Mr. Jensen said, but he said he did not know how many customers were affected.

Paul Hem, editorial systems manager for The Blade, said a Buckeye CableSystems technical support agent told him yesterday morning that "all hosted customers are affected" by the server problem.

Mr. Jensen said, "There is a possibility that this could be a denial of service attack that is focused on that particular address of the domain name server that is affected." He said the internal server was "being overwhelmed with a lot of traffic."

In January, Buckeye CableSystem announced it would issue a $2.50 credit and provide a coupon for a free video-on-demand movie to its Internet and telephone customers in the Toledo area after service was lost for four hours. Engineers for the company attributed the outage to an internal router.

Buckeye CableSystem is owned by Block Communications Inc., The Blade's parent company.

- Tom Troy

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