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WordPress comes under 'extremely large' web attack

Resistance futile

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

WordPress came under massive attack on Thursday, causing disruptions for many of the sites that rely on the webhosting platform to publish their content.

“WordPress.com is currently being targeted by a extremely large Distributed Denial of Service attack which is affecting connectivity in some cases,” Sara Rosso, a representative of WordPress owner Automatic, said in a statement released to customers. “The size of the attack is multiple Gigabits per second and tens of millions of packets per second.”

The attack later subsided, but the vast amount of junk data being thrown at the company's servers while the DDoS, or distributed denial-of-service, attack was ongoing made it hard to defend against using standard countermeasures.

Rosso said WordPress was working with its upstream providers to mitigate any further attacks. She also said WordPress “will be making our VIP sites a priority in this endeavor.”

While significantly smaller than Google-owned Blogger and other hosts, WordPress is nonetheless a crucial platform for a large amount of the Web's population. In July Drupal estimated WordPress powered 8.5 percent of websites.

“You have no idea how hard it was to get this post up, as WordPress.com, our blog host, is currently under a denial of service attack,” TechCrunch reported. “It’s been almost impossible to access the TechCrunch backend for the past 10 minutes and users are receiving a 'Writes to the service have been disabled, we will be bringing everything back online ASAP' error message.”

Antivirus provider Sophos also reported difficulties in posting stories to its Naked Security blog, but said traffic to its main website was unaffected because it used a different provider. ®

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