Network Security, Threat Management

Apparent DDoS attack sinks swimmer Michael Phelps’ website

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Michael Phelps is a world champion in the swimming pool, but on the Internet he just got blown out of the water by an apparent distributed denial of service (DDoS) attack that shut down his commercial website.

The attack happened fresh off Phelps' gold medal-winning performance in the men's 4x100 meter freestyle relay at the Rio Olympics. And while this assault on an Olympic athlete may not rise to the level of Nancy Kerrigan, the “Tonya Harding” of this case is the New World Hackers, according to Newsweek.

“The attack on Michael Phelps is an example showing how celebrities websites lack security measures,” a member of the group told Newsweek. “Each celebrity on our target list will be either hacked or DDoSed.” Xbox, Donald Trump and the BBC have been among New World Hackers' recent targets.

MichaelPhelps.com, which sells Phelps-branded goggles and swimwear, appeared to be operating normally as of this article's publishing.

Bradley Barth

As director of multimedia content strategy at CyberRisk Alliance, Bradley Barth develops content for online conferences, webcasts, podcasts video/multimedia projects — often serving as moderator or host. For nearly six years, he wrote and reported for SC Media as deputy editor and, before that, senior reporter. He was previously a program executive with the tech-focused PR firm Voxus. Past journalistic experience includes stints as business editor at Executive Technology, a staff writer at New York Sportscene and a freelance journalist covering travel and entertainment. In his spare time, Bradley also writes screenplays.

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