Ello Social Network knocked down by a cyber attack

Pierluigi Paganini October 01, 2014

Ello, the new social network which is considered the anti-Facebook, was knocked down on Sunday by a distributed denial of service (DDoS) attack.

In these days, many articles reported the born of Ello, a new social network considered as a possible antagonist of the giant Facebook. Ello creator considers it as a “tool for empowerment” highlighting how similar social media could be used to manipulate people.

The manifesto of the Ello social network says “a social network can be a tool for empowerment. Not a tool to deceive, coerce and manipulate — but a place to connect, create and celebrate life.”

Ello is an invite-only social network, the company is advertising this characteristic in attempting to attract users from other important social media platform. Its creator promises a network free from ads and that has a great respect for the user’s privacy. It’s not a mystery that data collected by social media are used as precious commodities by private companies that analyze them to customize commercial offers and do any kind of research.

Last week Ello social network reached a peak of popularity as explained by the founder Paul Budnitz told Business Insider. This rapid growth is probably annoying someone and is attracting the attention of the cybercrime.

“We’re up to 38,000 signups per hourrecently,” said Budnitz.

Last Sunday Ello social network suffered a major distributed denial of service (DDoS) attack, the attack started late on Sunday evening (CET time) and Ello platform was not accessible for over 30 minutes. The network posted a message on its status page confirming the ongoing attack:

ello ddos

“Investigating – We are undergoing a potential denial of service attack.” states the message from the company.

The company has identified the sources of the DDoS attack and has blocked IPs involved in the offense, but as happens in these cases is a temporary countermeasure, which does not protect Ello from future attacks. Many experts have speculated on the possibility that the attack was commissioned by a competitor or which may have been a intimidating action for purposes of extortion.

As the popularity of Ello continues to grow, it will likely face more DDoS like this, this kind attacks is very easy to manage and the underground offers any king of product and service to arrange them.

DDoS attack is a very effective method to bring down a website and can be carried out by threat actors without any particular expenses.

In time I’m writing, no one had claimed responsibility for DDoS attack against Ello systems.

Pierluigi Paganini

(Security Affairs – Ello, DDoS)

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