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Maybe it's better to pay in cash?

I got this e-mail from my merchant account provider (yes I am an authorized merchant and can accept MasterCard/Visa/AMEX/Discover):

Please be aware that our servers continue to be hit with a continuous distributed denial of service (DDoS) attack. We have very qualified technicians watching the incoming attack and combating them.

Until the attack ceases there will be some brief outages and some delays in transaction processing. We understand that these issues greatly impact your business, and we will continue to put our resources into fighting the attack and keeping all services functioning.

We again thank those who have contacted us sharing your support, ideas, concern, and/or experiences with your own DDoS attacks. We greatly appreciate your support and confidence.

Again, we appreciate your understanding during this time.

We have included a link (below) to an article at ComputerWeekly.com indicating that the most recent DDoS attacks on the Internet are being targeted against e-commerce companies.

Link

First of all it's cool that my merchant provider does in fact care about its customers like myself - and even when the going gets rough they do notify everyone when stuff is going awry.

I read the article linked above. Interesting read, but at the same time scary. DDoS (Distributed Denial of Service) attacks are a very real threat to any business that accepts any type of payment that is electronic. This includes online transactions, in-store credit card transactions and EFT's (Electronic File Transfers) a.k.a. Electronic Checks.

I actually knew someone once who got hit with a DoS (Denial of Service) attack for his online business. All he could basically do is sit there and watch it happen; his web server was hit hard. Customers were calling and complaining that his site and services were down and the phones were ringing off the hook. Very real and intimidating experience.

Now I can understand if someone gets hacked for security reasons, as in to "teach them a lesson" so to speak. Many colleges are like this and have extremely poor security measures in place. However, in the article linked above, it's outright extortion - that's wrong. It's basically large-scale blackmail and it's not just done by some kids who want to have some fun. These are real-scale pro criminals who are out to get the cash by any means necessary.

I hand it to anyone who runs an online business, because your balls are in the wind every second your site is online.

040927

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