Academia-meets-journalism website the Conversation was hit by a denial of service hacker attack this morning, preventing it from posting new articles or sending its daily email for around eight hours.
The cyber attack was targeted at the site’s domain name server DNSimple and affected hundreds of sites across the world. It is believed to be related to the Cyber Monday sales which were going on in the US and UK at the time.
In a note in today’s newsletter, sent at 2pm as opposed to the regular 6am, managing editor Misha Ketchell wrote: “Apologies for the long delay in sending today’s newsletter. Our website has been down since shortly after 6am thanks to a “denial of service” attack on our domain name server, DNSimple.
“If that’s got you scratching your head, you’re not alone. A denial of service attack is easy enough to understand: it’s where malevolent hackers inundate a server with so many requests it ceases to function.
“What’s confounding is why anyone would do something so pointless. In this case we think we’ve been caught up in a targeted attack to coincide with the Cyber Monday sales events in the US, as David Glance explains here.
“For now the worst appears to be over and we are working on ways to ensure it doesn’t happen again. Thanks for your patience.”
DNSimple is still currently experiencing issues across some of its domains due to the attacks, which are explained in more detail in a piece on The Conversation.