Meetup taken down – Really?

MeetupI mean seriously. Some hacker dude instituted a DDOS attack against beginning Thursday the 27th of February and seeming to end on the 4th of March.!!! Where hikers plan their weekend outings, wine lovers plan tastings and yes, many techies plan and find networking and learning events to attend. All over a $300 extortion attempt.

From the Meetup blog:

Here’s what happened. On Thursday morning, I received this email:

Date: Thu, Feb 27, 2014 at 10:26 AM
Subject: DDoS attack, warning

A competitor asked me to perform a DDoS attack on your website. I can stop the attack for $300 USD. Let me know if you are interested in my offer.

Simultaneously, the attack began, our servers were overwhelmed with traffic, and our services went down.

We got to work mitigating the attack, but we remained unavailable for nearly 24 hours. Service was restored Friday at 9.30am EST, but it took many hours for the changes we implemented to defend against the attack to be distributed across the Internet. Many folks did not see us come back up before we were hit again.

On Saturday at 4 pm EST, we received another severe DDoS attack. By midnight EST, the engineering team implemented a new solution, and Meetup’s website and apps were widely accessible again.

On Sunday, at 8:09 pm EST, another strong attack began again, taking Meetup down for a third time. We spent the past several days taking every step to ensure the site and apps are available. While we’re confident that we’re taking all the necessary steps to protect against the threat, it’s possible that we’ll face outages in the days ahead.

The natural question I know many of you will ask is why didn’t we pay, especially since the amount of money demanded was ridiculously small ($300 USD). …continue reading at the Meetup blog

As of 2:00 est on Mar 4, Meetup appears to be ok. Here is their official blog

I find this event a personal affront and attack on myself and the millions of people who use Meetup to plan outings and networking events worldwide. All the attacker did was cause a long hard weekend for the Meetup team and the cancellation or foul-up of many weekend events. I know of one group, I frequent on a monthly basis, that has canceled their March meeting because they can’t be sure of getting the RSVPs needed for planning purposes. That group is free, a bunch of independent, small business folk sharing experiences with each other.

Do these criminals attacking the web not have mothers? Were they all raised by drug cartels?

One tweet by Sean McCann sums up my feelings pretty well.


eLearning Consultant focused on Moodle for Enterprise Learning. A long time eMarketeer and lover of the handshake, Don is bringing both loves together through NH Innovation Nights and other networking groups such as Wearables New England Meetup group. Don's Innovator's Pod, podcast, is the latest offering for helping entrepreneurs get the word out.