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