Cloud Nine blown away, blames hack attack

Shut down

Basingstoke-based ISP Cloud Nine has closed its operation this morning after being hit by a crippling security attack.

The denial of service attack was so bad the ISP says it will have to rebuild its network.

But CEO Emeric Miszti told The Register that the disaster cover insurance that Cloud Nine has in place will not cover the rebuild.

Which means that either the company will be sold or it will be placed in the hands of the administrators.

On Friday Cloud Nine posted a message on ISPReview in which it said it had been the victim of a vicious attack.

"Firewall tightening prevented further intrusion beyond the firewalls. What followed was first a Firewall password brute force attack resulting in successful hash and destruction of the firewall," it said.

However, any hope that the ISP might be able to survive the onslaught appears to have been dashed after an announcement this morning revealed that the company has decided to "shut down [its] Internet connections with immediate effect".

Said Cloud Nine: "We tried overnight to bring our web servers back online but were seeing denial of service attacks against all our key servers, including email and DNS. These were of an extremely widespread nature.

"We felt we had a moral duty not to expose our customers to possible attacks as well," it said.

Speaking to The Register a dejected Mr Miszti said: "This is terrorism – pure and simple. I never want to relive the last seven days again.

"We still don’t know who’s behind it – nor do we know who's next.

"This is not just an attack against us, but against all our customers." ®

Full announcement from Cloud Nine – reposted from ISPReview

Cloud Nine regret to announce that at 7:45 this morning the decision was taken to shut down our Internet connections with immediate effect.

We tried overnight to bring our web servers back online but were seeing denial of service attacks against all our key servers, including email and DNS. These were of an extremely widespread nature.

We felt we had a moral duty not to expose our customers to possible attacks as well.

We must thank BT for all the help they provided us with in trying to bring these attacks to an end. We worked with them for the last few weeks to investigate this problems but ultimately we did not believe that we could survive these attacks and that it would be in the best interests of both ourselves and our customers to close our Internet service and seek a transfer of our services to another ISP.

We now wish to initiate a speedy transfer of servers, domain names, etc to interested Surftime ISP's and NT portfolio hosters since this would be the quickest way to get the affected customers online again. Please contact John Parr on 07740 423993 if interested.

We want to thank our customers for all the support over the last few days. Ultimately these attacks denied the service not to us but to many thousands of British businesses and ordinary people - this was an attack against everyone with no consideration for anyone!

The company is solvent but if a sale of assets cannot take place quickly then an administrator will be appointed. We have had to pay our excellent staff to the end of the month and we feel really sorry for them as well and would like to thank them for all their efforts over the years and the commitment shown over the last few difficult days.

All the directors are feeling absolutely gutted since we have all spent nearly 6 years building this company and its reputation to see it destroyed by a brazen act of cyber terrorism - well at this moment we can think of no words to express our true feelings.

Emeric Miszti
CEO

John Parr
Operations Director

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