“My internet security consultant became aware of the issue on January 30 when both sites were inaccessible for extended periods,” Lynn said. “We monitored the traffic and it quickly became apparent that the attackers were targeting a few specific pages.”
A distributed denial of service (DDoS) attack is a malicious attack done with the goal of disrupting servers and preventing websites from functioning. The most common tactic is to saturate the target site with incessant requests, creating a large enough volume of false traffic so that legitimate traffic is either delayed or prevented.
“We could see the hits coming in at an amazing rate, often faster than one per second,” Lynn said. “Each time we’d take a blocking action, the attacker would quickly circumvent it.”
The pages the attackers focused on included:
There was also evidence that a hacker was attempting to break into the sites, but was unsuccessful.
“I apologize to the readers who have been inconvenienced by this, and want them to know we are working to get the sites back up as quickly as possible,” Lynn said.
What is said to be one of the largest DDoS attacks ever was conducted in 2013 against Spamhaus, an organization which tracks the Internet’s worst spammers. Other DDoS victims include Wells Fargo, Bank of America, JPMorgan Chase & Co., NASDAQ, Charles Schwab & Co. and other major financial institutions. Even China’s internet has been hit by a major DDoS attack.
Jacquelyn Lynn is business writer and ghostwriter who creates the books, ebooks, blogs and other materials for her clients’ content marketing campaigns. She is also the author of Words to Work By: 31 devotions for the workplace based on the Book of Proverbs and the upcoming Finding Joy in the Morning.