Ello knocked offline by DDoS attack
Social network Ello went dark over the weekend following a suspected DDoS attack.
Ello pitches itself as an ad-free alternative to Facebook; it was launched in March, but the invite-only site suddenly hit the headlines last week.
At 9.15pm BST on 28 September, Ello posted a message on its status page stating it was “undergoing a potential denial of service attack”.
While the company hasn’t said how long the attack had gone on for until the notice was posted, it took until 9.50pm for it to be resolved, with the company stating simply that the offending IPs had been blocked.
Interestingly, the site’s front page didn’t mention the DDoS attack, stating instead that it was “currently unavailable while [the company conducted] some necessary maintenance” – something that had been true earlier in the day when it carried out database maintenance for about one minute, but which had supposedly been resolved by 8.39pm.
This is the third outage the company has suffered in the past week, although it is the first time attackers have allegedly been involved.
On 23 September, the site was taken offline for scheduled maintenance that was supposed to take five to ten minutes, but which lasted 15 minutes. This was followed about seven hours later by another outage, once again of indeterminate length. Both were also due to a database maintenance.
Ello has pitched itself as a rival to Facebook, tempting users in with the promise never to sell their data and an ad-free environment. But it wasn’t until a number of people left Facebook for the nascent site following a row over being forced to use their real names, that it sparked a flurry of media interest.
Since the exodus of these users to Ello, its user numbers are reportedly doubling in size every three-to-four days.
Todd Berger, one of the founders of the social network, told The Guardian “The barrage of traffic we’re getting right now is unexpected and unplanned-for.”
“I dont want to say it’s throwing us off our game, but it is a little bit. It’s a deluge. In terms of new sign-ups, the quantity of data we’re processing is unbelievable,” he added.