Feeds

Consumer revenge site returns after DDoS attack

Follow the money

SANS - Survey on application security programs

Updated UK-based consumer finance website MoneySavingExpert.com was forced to pull most of its services over the weekend as a result of an ongoing denial of service attack.

The site was hit at 1700 on Friday hours before launching a high-profile campaign against insurance rip-offs. Services were largely restored by 1000 on Monday.

The attack has left a guide to reclaiming mis-sold Payment Protection Insurance (PPI) temporarily unavailable. Martin Lewis, who runs the site, said the mis-selling of PPI to people applying for personal loans and credit cards is rife. He recently started a campaign to reclaim the cost of loan and card insurance.

MoneySavingExpert.com - a self-billed "consumer revenge" site - claims it is used by over three million people in the UK a month. The assault on the site by unknown assailants came on the same day as the launch of Lewis's PPI reclaim campaign.

Lewis reckons the timing of the attack is "probably not a coincidence" . The perpetrators of the attack remain unidentified. Sometimes such attacks are motivated by blackmail but Lewis said it has received no approach from those behind the assault.

MoneySavingExpert.com has campaigned on a variety of issues beyond its recent PPI push, activities that have earned its share of enemies over the years.

"We've cost some people a lot of money by telling consumers what to do," Lewis told El Reg.

Denial of service attacks involve rendering websites unusable, sometimes for prolonged periods that can reach into days. Attackers commonly start off with cruder forms of attack (such as a SYN Flood) before increasing the sophistication of the attack to confuse and confound a site's defenders.

Bringing the site back online after what Lewis described as a "phenomenal DDoS attack" proved a tall order. Minor glitches remain. "We're doing well at repelling that for the main site; although doing it for the forums is much more difficult," he said.

However clever or sophisticated the attack might be, it's probably done little beyond temporarily delaying some PPI claims. The assault might even draw wider attention to the issue.

MoneySavingExpert.com's PPI reclaiming guide and free template letters are due to be included in its weekly MoneySaving email, or via Google's cache here, pending full restoration of the site. ®

High performance access to file storage

More from The Register

next story
Obama allows NSA to exploit 0-days: report
If the spooks say they need it, they get it
Samsung Galaxy S5 fingerprint scanner hacked in just 4 DAYS
Sammy's newbie cooked slower than iPhone, also costs more to build
Snowden-inspired crypto-email service Lavaboom launches
German service pays tribute to Lavabit
Mounties always get their man: Heartbleed 'hacker', 19, CUFFED
Canadian teen accused of raiding tax computers using OpenSSL bug
One year on: diplomatic fail as Chinese APT gangs get back to work
Mandiant says past 12 months shows Beijing won't call off its hackers
Call of Duty 'fragged using OpenSSL's Heartbleed exploit'
So it begins ... or maybe not, says one analyst
prev story

Whitepapers

Top three mobile application threats
Learn about three of the top mobile application security threats facing businesses today and recommendations on how to mitigate the risk.
Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction
Based on their experience using HP ArcSight Enterprise Security Manager for IT security operations, Finansbank moved to HP ArcSight ESM for fraud management.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Five 3D headsets to be won!
We were so impressed by the Durovis Dive headset we’ve asked the company to give some away to Reg readers.
SANS - Survey on application security programs
In this whitepaper learn about the state of application security programs and practices of 488 surveyed respondents, and discover how mature and effective these programs are.