As many of you know, LingQ performance was significantly impacted by malicious attacks in April aimed at bringing our site down. We responded as quickly as we could and were able to prevent further attacks after the initial period. We took measures to make it much more difficult for this type of event to happen again. However, some of these countermeasures have inconvenienced legitimate users of LingQ and caused slowness and intermittent downtime and we do apologize for this.
Over the past month, our team has been working hard to track down the source of the slowness and the reason behind the downtime. We have done a number of things, including significantly upgrading our servers, adjusting our server setup to reduce strain, and rewriting and optimizing our code to reduce server load.
One of the countermeasures we set up to defend against malicious attacks was throttling. Throttling means limiting the number of actions or requests that can occur on certain pages within a short period of time. We believed the throttling limits were set sufficiently high that performance would not be affected, while at the same time, giving us the maximum protection from attacks designed to overload our servers. In the end, it looks like the throttling limits were affecting performance and some adjustments there have got our performance back the way it should be.
In fact, with all of the other adjustments we made, the site should be faster than ever before. In hindsight this should have occurred to us sooner but…hindsight is hindsight. The net result is that the site is faster and more secure than ever before. We have learned a lot from this attack and have made many changes behind the scenes to ensure that we are much better prepared and protected than we were previously. Likewise, the performance of the site is always one of our main focuses and we are going to continue to direct significant effort to make sure site performance is up to par as we move forward.
The faster the site, the faster we can all learn our languages!
Through this process, there was a lot of frustration both from within our ranks and externally, from our members, who expect more of LingQ. We are very sorry for all the inconvenience caused, and will take what we’ve learned to make LingQ better than ever before. Thank you for your patience and understanding during this period. I hope to see you around the site soon.
Chief Operating Officer