Cyber Attack | Data Breach

Published on July 14th, 2015 📆 | 4535 Views ⚑


DDoS attack knocks Reddit alternative Voat offline

Smells fishy : Voat, rival of Reddit knocked offline by DDoS attacks just days after the Reddit admin-mods war

Voat, rival of Reddit has made a public declaration that it is currently being struck by a Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attack by unknown hackers. Voat has been hit by more DDoS attacks since users flocked to use its website during the Reddit lockdown.

On July 13, Switzerland-based Voat posted on Twitter at midnight (GMT) that it was being struck by an ongoing “layer 7 DDoS attack”. A bit more detail was added to its website:

“In case you were wondering why most third party apps for Voat haven’t been working for the last 8 hours or so – we are under DDoS. Again,” Voat wrote citing a CloudFlare support engineer.

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“In order to keep Voat at least somewhat responsive, we’ve bumped up CloudFlare security settings which essentially breaks most Voat third party apps currently on the market. We are sorry about this and we are working on a solution and taking this time to optimize our source code even further. What doesn’t kill you – makes you stronger, right?”

The website is now loading at the time of publication, even though irregularly, and some users will still receive a message saying: “Voat is currently being kicked by a botnet.”

Voat is a censorship-free substitute to Reddit that makes use of an almost similar layout to the widely famous “front page of the internet”.

It was announced on July 2 that Victoria Taylor, Director of Talent, who was one of the few people to have a paid position with Reddit, had been fired. Her removal caused a huge online demonstration to explode that saw 300 of Reddit’s most read subreddits being made private for over 24 hours and making Reddit CEO Ellen Pao to resign.

Voat reported that during this time, they were receiving huge increase in traffic, probably from Reddit users changing to the Swiss copy, and its servers were finding it difficult to manage the increase in users. Administrators of the website also affirmed that many venture capitalist firms showing interest to invest approached them on 3 July.

The website has already gone up since May. At first, it was ranked below 80,000 on Alexa. However, within six weeks, it pushed itself to become one of the top 2,000 websites in the US and one of the top 15,000 websites online in the world.

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Comparatively, Reddit has 36 million registered users, 169 million monthly unique visitors and 7.55 billion page views per month. Currently, it is ranked 10 in the US and 33 by Alexa globally.

Several DDoS attacks were encountered in June, and on June 25, Voat itself mentioned that it had got over 700,000 unique visitors in the 30-day period ending on 25 June. “That’s like, crazy and stuff,” Voat’s administrators said on Twitter.

When Voat’s web host brought an end to Voat’s contracts and shut down its servers without a warning, it was taken offline for a brief period as it had hosted “politically incorrect” matter.

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