Chris Schwarz's Blog

Defend the Wood Whisperer

As some of you might know, The Wood (Marc Spagnuolo and family) has been besieged by a DDoS attack this week. In fact, as I write this, I can’t even get onto his site.

As a survivor of Internet malice – remember when the pornographers took over the Woodworking Magazine site for three long days? – I know these attacks are expensive, time-consuming and personally all-consuming.

I cannot think of any other Internet woodworker who has been more generous with his time, advice and technical expertise. He has personally lent a hand to many bloggers to help them tidy up their sites and get them running smoothly. And he has built perhaps the biggest and most cohesive woodworking community on the Internet.

And now he really needs our help. Consider joining his Guild, buy a shirt (thank Shiva the “May the Schwarz be With You” shirts are long gone), or do what I did: Send the dude some cash via a PayPal donation. I sent $100, which is a drop in the bucket. But put together enough drops and my basement is leaking again.

— Christopher Schwarz

22 thoughts on “Defend the Wood Whisperer

  1. Julian

    Anyone who lives in the real world understands that advertising helps pay the bills. I think the WoodWisperer website is one of the top 5 sites I have seen.

  2. Dazzzle

    Thanks for the link to the interview Marc, great interview Chris, good to see the site back up and running

  3. vinfonet

    The comment about the banner ads is really annoying. The guy is trying somehow to eek out a living while at the same time giving all kinds of help and instruction to others. Thanks Marc for all the great help. Send me a PM with email, I’ll take Chris’s suggestion and send a donation. JV


    I know when our woodworking site was hacked it took weeks to repair the damage and we had to change software to a different type. the wood whisper site has been a great resource and has done a ton of stuff for free or out of his own pocket and free to the public. as we do on our site every thing we do is for the good of the woodworking community at large. to be hacked is a low moment and it will be hard to recover from. this makes you wonder who is next will it be lumberjocks or will it be our site again now that we are giving the historic deltagrams away. this kind gesture is bound to have a negative return or a hack will come. this crime makes less since than graffiti I am with Chris the financial hit may be too much for them to take with out some help i know it set us back thousands of dollars which took services away from our readers good luck to the wood whisperer ill give what i can please do the same

  5. Bill Lattanzio

    I once took a computer course with a professor who also did security work for the US Govt. He showed the class a study he did where he interviewed several “hackers” trying to find out their reasoning. Turns out that nearly all of them were immature, malicious wackos. His words.

    1. Clay Dowling

      There is an additional variety: those motivated by profit. Their business model is to knock a site offline, or at least reduce their capacity to serve content, until blackmail is paid.

      If you’re really fascinated by this stuff, check out a blog written by some of my co-workers about DDoS attacks.

  6. butzla

    It’s probably because of all the spam he posts on his site. The guy is shameless about posting banner ads and commercials on his videos.

    1. thewoodwhispererthewoodwhisperer

      So because I fund my business with advertising I deserve to be attacked? Not sure I follow your logic.

      And generally speaking, my ad to content ratio is incredibly good. But I guess some people are only going to see what they want to see.

    2. Fred West

      Considering that this is his livelihood why is what he doing shameless. He provides a great service for woodworkers and being paid through ads or commercials is no less viable or fair than having a boss who pays you. I have no relationship nor am I even a member of any of Mark’s stuff. Finally I do not understand why if anyone does not like what is written, said or posted, why would they go there????? Fred

    3. markwilliams75


      Marc was nice in his response because he is a good guy…..Go F yourself.

      Chris my apologies for swearing but he is messing with Marc.

    4. Clay Dowling

      Marc’s advertising content is pretty minimal, and most importantly it’s always on topic.

      These types of attacks are usually done as part of a shakedown. He pays money, the attack goes away. Except that once you get known for paying the money you can expect one or two shakedowns a month.

    5. Matt

      That’s the most ridiculous statement I’ve ever read? Shameless advertising? Are you serious? Do you have any idea what it takes to put out content at the level of quality and detail Marc puts out there? Probably not!

      Authors, musicians, entertainers and educators DESERVE compensation for their efforts. How much money did you pay to access the video that was so burdened with all the advertising? I have a feeling the answer is ZERO! That means it cost you nothing to watch a video in which more than likely you probably learned at least one new thing or was reaffirmed of something you’re already doing.

      And one more thing you probably don’t understand is that the service, where many of the FREE videos you’re complaining about, are so heavily burdened with advertising are required to have that advertising so they can be free. The cost of hosting your own videos is very high due to the cost of bandwidth.

      Content providers like Marc and myself need to have services like the place we post our videos to make it possible to provide content free to the many individuals who return week after week and find the videos entertaining and educational.

      Saying someone had it coming because they had ads on their site or in their videos is unbelievably ridiculous.

    6. moofie

      Spam? It’s his web site. Not your email account.

      Spam is unsolicited. You going to his web site, that’s soliciting. YOU are going to HIS SITE.

      Me? I’ve learned a TON from Senor Spag. I like what he’s doing, I like the way he does it, and I’m glad to pay him for it.

    7. thomsonm5

      Marc does great work with this site. I stress the word “work” as in this is how he makes his living. If you don’t understand that then you need some serious additional education on how the world works.

  7. Dazzzle

    As far as I’m aware this is the second time Marc has been targeted, I tried to listen to Chris’ interview a couple of weeks ago, unsuccessfully and Marc had put a post on the forum to say his sites had been attacked.
    Hopefully the woodworking community can help Marc in whatever way they can, the “hackers” should be ashamed to have targeted someone who does so much to help others.

  8. Clay Dowling

    I can’t find a way to contact Marc directly, so I’m leaving it here. He should start rattling chains up the line with his hosting provider. They may not have the capacity to mitigate the attack, but their upstream providers probably do.

    There are other options as well.

    Verisign offers a DDoS mitigation service that I know from personal experience is very effective. I don’t know about pricing, but if they start mitigating the attack, the attack is done.

    Amazon also offers hosting within their cloudspace. What looks like a devastating DDoS attack to most sites looks like a new book or movie release to Amazon.

    Writing software to stop these kinds of attacks is what I do for my day job. Woodworking is just what I do on the side.

    1. Clay Dowling

      And an inquiry with his hosting provider was sufficient to tell me that they have mitigation capability. If he asks for DDoS mitigation help they’ll be able to handle it.

      1. wootens

        I am also write code for a living and work for a company that produces secure software. This is all great advice Clay. Have you tried twitter?

Comments are closed.