A group of criminal hackers tried to extort money from Feedly, the online RSS reader that millions of people use to keep up with their favorite blogs, according to a statement the company released after the service went offline on Wednesday.
Feedly came back online shortly Wednesday afternoon, some 13 hours after the company first reported it was under attack by an unnamed hacker.
Wednesday was a weird day in several corners of the Internet: There was the worm that attacked TweetDeck. There was also an outage at Evernote, which started Tuesday and lingered on Wednesday. The TweetDeck problem may have been inadvertent, although all the details still aren’t clear. The Evernote outage sounded malicious.
But Feedly, one of the most popular in a wave of new services that emerged after last year’s demise of Google Reader, said it was attacked by unnamed “criminals” who launched a distributed denial of service (DDoS) attack and then tried to extort “money to make it stop.” In a typical DDoS attack, the perpetrator will flood a system’s servers in an effort to make them crash, or at least become unavailable to other users.
Feedly said it was collaborating with law enforcement and other, unnamed victims of the same group, while working to restore service after the attacks began around 2 a.m. Service was back up by shortly after 3 p.m., and the company assured users that none of their data had been compromised.
Here’s the initial report from Feedly:
2:04am PST – Criminals are attacking feedly with a distributed denial of service attack (DDoS). The attacker is trying to extort us money to make it stop. We refused to give in and are working with our network providers to mitigate the attack as best as we can.
We are working in parallel with other victims of the same group and with law enforcement.
We want to apologize for the inconvenience. Please know that you data is safe and you will be able to re-access your feedly as soon as the attack is neutralized.
We will update this blog post as soon as we have more information:
Thank you for your understanding,
/Oliv, Seb and Edwin
We reached out to Feedly for more information, but didn’t hear back right away. It sounds like they were pretty busy.