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Hackers Attack Million Dollar Homepage

When you suddenly come into a ton of money, it seems as though everyone always wants a piece of it.

Just days after 21-year-old overnight millionaire Alex Tew sold the last piece of digital real estate on his brainchild -- -- the site was knocked off the Web by organized online extortionists after Tew refused to cough up a fraction of the site's earnings for protection money.

Tew said he received a ransom demand from the unknown perpetrators, who promised to crash his site unless he paid $50,000. Tew declined to pay the money, and his site was soon felled under weight of a sustained distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attack, a digital assault in which the attackers use thousands of remotely controlled (usually compromised) computers to douse the target site with so much bogus Web traffic that it can no long accommodate legitimate visitors.

Tew detailed the ordeal Tuesday on his MillionDollarHomepage blog -- where he confirmed that his site was subjected to a DDoS attack that led to a six-day outage.

The site is now back online, and according to Tew the FBI is investigating the attack (the company that hosts the MillionDollarHomepage  -- -- is headquartered in Englishtown, N.J.). Tew said his site is now equipped with ProxyShield, a DDoS-prevention technology from

Tew contracted with the hundreds of advertisers on his site to keep the homepage on the Web for five years, but this week's attack looked like it could have placed him in the legal cross hairs of his customers for breach of contract. Instead, Tew said, a slew of media coverage of the attack on his site has generated even more publicity: received more than 350,000 hits on Wednesday alone, Tew said, and he expects Thursday to be an even busier traffic day.

"Perhaps the attackers have inadvertently done me a favor," Tew said in an online posting. "Crime does not pay -- creativity does!"

By Brian Krebs  |  January 19, 2006; 12:32 PM ET
Categories:  Fraud  
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Next: Rep. Takes Aim at Cell Phone Record Sales


Speaking as one who works with these people... Hackers generally have no social life - except with other anti-social hackers. They cannot meet girls. They cannot have a civil discussion on anything other than porn - which they constantly download - or technology. they aren't interested in philosphy, sports, law, literature, ethics, or anything else defining modern civilization.

They became hackers because they are societal failures.. and hacking this kids site is how they got their jollys this week.

Oh yeah - and they often live with their parents.

Posted by: Weak-minded Scum | January 19, 2006 5:03 PM | Report abuse

Oh man that's funny. Put a smile on my face. There's got to be some cosmic linkage between the parents' home comment and Shatner's kidney stone.

Posted by: haha | January 19, 2006 5:10 PM | Report abuse

If I was the kind of person who bought pixel ads, and let me stress I am no such thing because it's so untargeted, I might go for something like which seems to have some quite nice programming behind it and is doing well on Google for "pixels for sale" and "buy pixels".

Posted by: geek-pie | January 21, 2006 8:25 AM | Report abuse

News from

'a Devon business with global ambition'

Date: Monday 16 January 2006

Australia asks Devon Designer for Help

Devon internet businessman and web designer Alan Wheeler has launched an innovative web advertising service which has already attracted an international company to sign up.

Bovey Tracey based Mr Wheeler has also been asked by Australian charity 'Hope for Children' to help them design and set up a similar web-based advertising service.

His web-service enables businesses to buy a square of pixels, on the web page. Customers click on the coloured pixels and are immediately transported to the advertiser's web site.

With each block of 100 pixels costing just £60 (60p per unit) it is, believes Mr Wheeler, one of the best value advertising and promotion options for businesses of all sizes and a potentially valuable boost to tourism related services.

And, in the longer term, advertisers could end up bidding for space on what is being described as internet 'real estate'.

Mr Wheeler, aged 42, said "It's a quick and easy way for people to find a service or firm and it also gives competitive advantage to the businesses because, with the millions of web sites available, this will draw potential customers to them much more easily."

"Without a doubt there are people globally willing to pay for quite gimmicky advertising solutions. The internet is a fast moving place with over eight million web pages added on a daily basis. For a website to stand out and generate sales it needs to stand out from the rest," he added

Last autumn university student Alex Tew set up the Million Dollar site and since then has been overwhelmed by the success of a venture intended to raise enough money to pay for his way through university.

Alan Wheeler's is, he says, the next big step in the concept because, in effect, businesses are 'leasing' virtual real estate on the web to promote their businesses.

Launched just two weeks ago, has already won the backing of international business Optis Europe Ltd, an operations management company, which is using the site to promote its business.

With more customers advertising it is, says Mr Wheeler, inevitable that like real property, some of the pixels on his site will become increasingly valuable for their 'owners' as more business is generated.

However, the last 1200 pixels, or advertising blocks, will eventually be auctioned off in support of the Great Ormond Street Children's Hospital, said Mr Wheeler.


Posted by: SPider | January 23, 2006 2:28 PM | Report abuse

Great information. You are really true in what you said. If you get a chance, you can check out my site.

Kevin Daniels

Posted by: Kevin Daniels | February 8, 2006 11:54 PM | Report abuse

And what do you think about


Is it good?

Posted by: Luca | March 6, 2006 6:38 PM | Report abuse


here's something new on pixel heaven. they've been creative and have linked the idea to a World Cup 2006 online game...

It's really funny and a cool new combination on a football game and online advertising.

check it out:

Shoot till you drop ;-)

Posted by: marc | May 29, 2006 5:23 PM | Report abuse

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