The popular RSS reader Feedly was brought down for several hours this morning by a distributed denial of service attack, which the perpetrators are allegedly using to extort money from the company. Feedly posted details of the attack on its blog to explain the site's downtime, saying that it's been in contact with law enforcement as well as other victims of the attack. "The attacker is trying to extort us money to make it stop [sic]," Feedly writes on its blog. "We refused to give in and are working with our network providers to mitigate the attack as best as we can."
"The attacker is trying to extort us."
This type of extortion attempt is said to be far from uncommon, but companies usually aren't eager to discuss it. In one case earlier this year, Meetup was taken down by the same type of attack and asked to pay $300 to make it stop. It's a surprisingly low figure, but the attacker's aim was likely to make it low enough that the company found it easier to just pay up. Feedly hasn't said if its attack is also in this vein. Many have noted that Evernote was also briefly taken down last night from a denial of service attack, but it's unclear if the two attacks are related.
Feedly's site remained intermittently unavailable and sluggish throughout the day as it worked to restore service. At shortly after 6PM ET, Feedly said that it had neutralized the attack and that access to the service through the website, first-party apps, and third-party apps should once again be available. It notes that no data was lost or compromised in the attack, and it's now monitoring in case it resumes. Those eager to start reading their feeds again should be able to get started, though Feedly says it might take a few hours before they're fully updated.
Update June 11th, 6:15PM ET: this article has been updated to reflect Feedly coming back online. It was previously updated with information regarding a timeline for bringing it back online.