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Beware: Someone May Be Bragging About Attacking Your Website

The distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks that have plagued ecommerce sites of all sizes in the past may not emerge seemingly out of nowhere. Instead it has been suggested that the person interested in harming one’s online presence might be talking about it beforehand.

That is the contention of DDoS mitigation provider Prolexic, which recently published a look at four warning signs that a particular site may come under attack. Such attacks that deny others the ability to connect and conduct business can mean not only lost sales but a damaged reputation among customers.

Prolexic suggested that similar attacks on firms within one’s niche could indicate interest in additional sites in that same business. Sometimes attackers can’t resist announcing their intentions in social media; ecommerce pros who monitor their reputations and online mentions may pick up on this boasting ahead of an attack.

Sometimes a criminal attacker may be very direct, and engage in straightforward blackmail or extortion. Such threats should be shared with law enforcement, as well as IT support staff who are responsible for the targeted website’s uptime. Those staff should already be noting and investigating network or server issues that seem to suddenly take place.

The potential for damages and losses from DDoS attacks, especially during the holiday shopping season, could be catastrophic for an online seller. A LexisNexis study already noted how much ecommerce pros already suffer from typical online fraud; DDoS incidents could push those losses even higher.

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David A Utter
David A Utter
David A. Utter is a freelance writer based in Lexington, KY. He has covered technology topics from search to security to online business and has been quoted in places like ZDNet and BusinessWeek. He considers his appearance on NPR's "All Things Considered" with long-time host Robert Siegel a delightful highlight. You can find him on Twitter @davidautter and on LinkedIn.