SYSTEM SNAFUSBy Baselinemag | Posted 2007-11-30 Email Print
Modernizing Authentication — What It Takes to Transform Secure Access
SYSTEM SNAFUS: World Series Strikeout
THE PROBLEM: The improbable ride of the Colorado Rockies to the World Series hit a nasty bump in the road, at least for fans trying to score tickets to Coors Field. The baseball team's online ticket portal crashed just 90 minutes after tickets went on sale for the fall classic; the servers collapsed under the load of 8.5 million server requests. The team and Major League Baseball claim the Rockies were victims of an automated attack designed to impersonate people attempting to buy tickets. The Web bombardment was similar to the shelling the team got in Game 2 from Boston's bats. Ticket sales were suspended a day until the system was restored.
THE LESSON: While it remains under debate whether the Rockies suffered an attack or their Web servers were simply overwhelmed, the situation is reminiscent of the Victoria Secret online fashion show that was slammed by an avalanche of traffic. When the Rockies made the decision to sell tickets only online-no box office-the ball club should have ensured it had the capacity to handle a surge in demand. Likewise, security experts would say it should have been monitoring traffic and connections for anomalies long before it was called "out" by the automated attack.