A number of high-profile UK-based computer etailers were subject to website disruptions over the past few days caused by distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attacks, which are designed to make websites inaccessible by bombarding them with thousands of requests every second through coordinated targetting.
Speaking to HEXUS, SCAN director, Elan Raja, confirmed that the company's web team noticed higher-than-normal traffic at the servers located in the hosting company's datacentre - a precursor to a full-blown DDoS attack - on the afternoon of Saturday, October 17. The traffic subsided to regular levels by the evening but resumed at a larger scale on Sunday morning.
Though the issue has now been resolved fully at SCAN, earlier this week other computing etailers' websites were also rendered temporarily inaccessible by hackers who demanded payment in Bitcoins in return for no further DDoS action.
Since then, SCAN has put security protocols in place to minimise the potential of further application-layer DDoS attacks on the hosting company, and SCAN's engineers are continuing to monitor the situation. In particular, sharing what he could without going into finer details, Raja said SCAN has adopted server IP masking CloudFlare technology for advanced DDoS protection.
"These attacks only affected the external network and did not in any way compromise our internal network that holds customers' account details. Think of customer data as a safe in your house; these attacks merely rang the front door repeatedly, " Raja said.
DDoS-type attacks are on the rise so it makes sense for all web-based companies to be fully vigilant and have appropriate safeguards in place.