The website used to peddle merchandise for the University of Warwick’s rowing club was hit by a DDoS attack shortly after their team nude magazine was banned for sale in Russia.
The team has spoken out against homophobia in sports and sells its nude team calendar on its website to help raise funds for not only for its program, but for the charity Sports Allies, which promotes diversity in sports, and usually raises a six-figure amount annually for the charity. The calendar was banned from Russia for being what it called “gay propaganda.”
The DDoS attack that sent 7,268 visits per second to their website was seemingly designed to prevent the calendar from being sold and was traced to a Russian IP address, according to Independent Researcher Graham Cluley.
It is unclear if the attack was state sponsored or done by a lone actor. Seperately, Russia was banned from the winter Olympics by the International Olympic Committee after athletes from the country were found to have systematically manipulated the anti-doping system in Russia and at the Olympic Winter Games Sochi 2014.