Social site Meetup hit by DDoS attack

Social site Meetup was hit by a DDoS attack today, according to a notice on its website.

The message said the site, which allows users to find groups relating to their interests and meet new people, may be up and down ‘intermittently’ as it deals with the issue.

“We’re fighting a DDoS attack today,” the site tweeted. “We’re making progress and thank you for your patience. Nobody wants Meetup back online more than we do!

“We are implementing a solution, but can’t yet publish a time estimate of when Meetup services will be available globally.”

A DDoS attack involves flooding a site with a large amount of generated traffic in order to prevent legitimate users from using it.

UPDATE (2:08pm): Meetup says the attack is ongoing and its team is ‘fighting back’.

UPDATE (2:44pm): Meetup has reassured its members that their details are safe.

UPDATE (4:51pm): Meetup has issued a statement via its Tumblr blog:

On Thursday morning, Meetup suffered a distributed denial of service (DDoS) attack, which resulted in a service outage for our website and our apps. Organizer and member data is secure, including credit card information. No data has been accessed or stolen.

In a DDoS attack, a bad actor overwhelms the site with traffic with the explicit goal of causing servers to crash.  That’s exactly what happened in our case.

Our engineers are working urgently to resolve the issue, and the website and the apps may be intermittently unavailable. We know this is a major inconvenience.

The Meetup community exists because all of you keep showing up.  We will continue to work hard behind the scenes to make Meetup a safe and secure platform for organizers and members.  We can’t thank you enough for being a part of it.

UPDATE (5:33pm): Meetup says that everything should be back up and running soon.

UPDATE (9:03am, 3rd March 2014): More information has been released on the nature of the attack.

Meetup says that it received an email from somebody claiming that ‘a competitor’ asked them to perform a DDoS attack on the site. The person said they could stop it for $300.

The site says it will not negotiate with criminals and is ‘confident’ it can protect Meetup.

It seems to be having ongoing troubles, according to a message posted seven hours ago.

In a statement, the site said the ‘massive attack’ had made it a ‘tough weekend’.

“We’ve had many hours of downtime over several days, a first for us in 12 years of growing the world’s largest network of local community groups,” co-founder and CEO Scott Heiferman said.

“While the site was down, the Meetup community was not. There were over 60,000 Meetups during the outage period – people meeting up about what’s important in their lives – and saw an incredible outpouring of support.”

UPDATE (12:23pm): Meetup seems to have fixed the problem.

UPDATE: (5:59pm): Just when you thought everything was sorted, Meetup seems to be back under attack.

More follows.

Tags: , , ,