Autotrader have revealed that their site has been maliciously targeted in what we presume is a distributed denial of service attack or DDOS. In other words the site has not been “hacked”, as some news outlets are reporting, but rather is the victim of nefarious third parties trying to make the resources unavailable to its intended users.
It can of course happen to any site but does require a concerted effort. A DDOS attack by the mysterious internet group “Anonymous” was responsible (indirectly as it turned out) for the downfall last year of solicitors ACS:LAW who were very active in pursuing file sharers. Quite why Autotrader.co.uk has been targeted remains to be seen.
The message on the Autotrader blog reads:
“Since midday on Monday 18th April, the Autotrader.co.uk website has been subject to a malicious third-party attack which has prevented normal operational services from being delivered. Anyone visiting the site during this attack would have found that Autotrader.co.uk was either intermittently unavailable or extremely slow.
The technical support team is working around the clock to restore services and minimise the impact of similar attacks in the future. Some visitors may still experience difficulty accessing the site today while we resolve the remaining problems.
However, it is important to note that we have no evidence to suggest that any customer data has been lost as a result of the attack and there are no known risks to consumers visiting the site during this time.
Apologies for any inconvenience caused, we’d like to reassure all our customers that we are working very hard to resolve this.”
Let’s hope they find a swift resolution.