Friday24 March 2023

Surfeasy private networks fall offline

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The Surfeasy private proxy network suffered an outage today starting around 10:00am and lasted for about an hour. There was no indication that there would be any maintenance or other issues with the network, but the service dropped offline leaving people with active sessions exposed and anyone that tried to connect unable to. Even attempting to connect to the Surfeasy home page resulted in a “This website is offline” error from the Cloudflare hosting service that Surfeasy uses.

We tested the Surfeasy privacy key not that long ago and still use the product from time to time (especially on open networks). Normally the service is quick and responsive, but not today as even our initial attempts to connect to the service were slow. It took us three times to connect and even then browsing seemed slower than normal.  After the initial outage the site did pop back online once or twice, but we were not able to connect to their privacy servers until after 11:00am.

What is very interesting about the outage is that Surfeasy uses Cloudflare as their hosting service. This should have allowed the site to remain online even if the server was not available through the use of cached versions of the site. However, none of the sites or sub-sites for Surfeasy were available during the outage although we could still ping the main site without issue (although that could simply be a Cloudflare mirror). Trace Routes run to the server failed during transit, but that could be due to security put in place to block attempts to locate physical servers inside protected networks.

Although outages are nothing new and frequently happen it is still concerning that a service like this was down for an hour and that open sessions were suddenly exposed when the systems went offline. It raises concerns about how robust the service is and if a DDoS attack on the Surfeasy network could cause this to happen again. We have sent out an email to Surfeasy asking them what happened and will follow up with any answers that we receive.

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Last modified on Monday, 08 October 2012 13:39

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