UPDATE: eBay, Amazon, Buy.com Hit by Attacks

First to be hit was Buy.com, which saw its Web site become virtually inaccessible just hours after the company successfully completed an initial public offering on the Nasdaq market in New York.

"At 10:50am PST our site experienced a slowdown due to a denial of service attack," said Buy.com in a statement attributed to chief executive officer Greg Hawkins.

"We had 800 megabits per second hit the site, which equals eight times our capacity. On average, our site runs at only 30 per cent capacity, which gives you an idea of how unprecedented this traffic hit was. Our support staff reacted immediately, our systems performed exactly as they should have. It was strictly an outside coordinated attack to our network that prevented access to our system."

A Buy.com spokeswoman said the company's Web site was hosted with Exodus Communications and that the two companies were working together to discover as much as they could regarding the incident, but the company was "absolutely positive" the problem was a result of a malicious attack.

Later in the day it was the turn of Internet auction house eBay.

"We are experiencing an external denial of service attack," said eBay spokeswoman Jennifer Chu, speaking while the attack, which began at 3pm PST (Pacific Standard Time), was continuing late yesterday.

"We are working with local and federal authorities, our Internet provider, ISPs and other Internet sites that have been attacked," she added. The spokeswoman said the attack affected its servers hosted at a data centre run by AboveNet Communications, a San Jose unit of Metromedia Fibre Network The servers carried eBay's static pages - those that are not being continuously updated, such as its main home page and company profile - while the dynamic pages, which are hosted by a different company, were unaffected. This enabled the company to claim that the majority of its site was up and running, but in reality it meant that users could not reach the functioning pages, which include those associated with bidding, listing and searching, unless they had bookmarks that enabled them to bypass the home page.

Two hours later, at 5pm PST, high-profile Internet retailer Amazon.com was attacked, the company said.

"Today, like several other major internet sites, Amazon.com came under a denial of service attack," spokesman Bill Curry said, reading from a prepared statement. "A large amount of junk traffic was directed to our site resulting in degraded service for about one hour."

At around the same time, the Web site of CNN also saw performance take a dive, said Dan Todd, director of public services at Internet performance measurement specialists Keynote Systems The company saw performance at the CNN site, which is usually above 95 per cent, drop to 18 per cent in the period from 4 p.m. to 4:15pm PST and then drop further still to hit zero per cent between 5 p.m. and 5:15pm.

A spokesperson for CNN Interactive was not immediately available for comment.

The attacks came a day after several of the US Web sites of Yahoo were hit by a similar assault. At the time, a company spokeswoman described the attack as coordinated, coming from multiple points on the Internet, and said the amount of traffic directed at a router connecting the site to the Internet was "intense."

Join the PC World newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection
Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Martyn Williams

PC World
Show Comments

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles


PCW Evaluation Team

Matthew Stivala

HP OfficeJet 250 Mobile Printer

The HP OfficeJet 250 Mobile Printer is a great device that fits perfectly into my fast paced and mobile lifestyle. My first impression of the printer itself was how incredibly compact and sleek the device was.

Armand Abogado

HP OfficeJet 250 Mobile Printer

Wireless printing from my iPhone was also a handy feature, the whole experience was quick and seamless with no setup requirements - accessed through the default iOS printing menu options.

Azadeh Williams

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

A smarter way to print for busy small business owners, combining speedy printing with scanning and copying, making it easier to produce high quality documents and images at a touch of a button.

Andrew Grant

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

I've had a multifunction printer in the office going on 10 years now. It was a neat bit of kit back in the day -- print, copy, scan, fax -- when printing over WiFi felt a bit like magic. It’s seen better days though and an upgrade’s well overdue. This HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 looks like it ticks all the same boxes: print, copy, scan, and fax. (Really? Does anyone fax anything any more? I guess it's good to know the facility’s there, just in case.) Printing over WiFi is more-or- less standard these days.

Ed Dawson

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

As a freelance writer who is always on the go, I like my technology to be both efficient and effective so I can do my job well. The HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 Inkjet Printer ticks all the boxes in terms of form factor, performance and user interface.

Michael Hargreaves

Windows 10 for Business / Dell XPS 13

I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?