Critical Infrastructure Security

Hackers greet with holiday DoS attack


The popular ecommerce website CafePress told members it was hit by distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attacks this week.

The site, which specializes in customizing items such as T-shirts, hats, and mugs, reported to members that it was experiencing problems due to the attack. As of Thursday, CafePress staff was working on the problem but said that they were still experiencing service disruptions.

"As of right now some customers have access that appears normal, some have intermittent access, and some have no access at all," the company said in an email to members. "A DDoS attack is a computer crime and violates internet proper use policy as dictated by the Internet Architecture Board, and we are now working with the proper authorities. For this reason we are not able to share any additional details at this time. We do consider this an attack on, but we're most disturbed at how this victimizes our community of shopkeepers."

Some security experts said CafePress was deliberately targeted this week due to the holidays.

"We have seen denial-of-service attacks against gambling websites in the days before a big horse race, so it's sadly no surprise to see an attack against a popular online store just before Christmas," said Ron O'Brien, senior security analyst for Sophos. "Everyone has a responsibility to ensure that their PC is properly secured, and not under the remote control of hackers who might abuse it for this kind of assault."

Click here to email West Coast Bureau Chief Ericka Chickowski.

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