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By Clare O’Gara
Fri | Jun 12, 2020 | 7:52 AM PDT

In April, SecureWorld gave whisky fans some bad news when a DDoS attack hit an exclusive event from Whisky Auctioneer.

This is a classic example of a DDoS (distributed denial of service) cyber attack. This type of attack floods a website server with massive amounts of bogus data so that legitimate traffic gets shut out.

While Whisky Auctioneer was gearing up for the second phase of what it calls The Perfect Collection auction, cybercriminals apparently made plans, too.

And those plans shut down the website and, inevitably, the online auction of thousands of bottles of rare whisky.

Now, the auctioneer company has some security incident updates, including the fact this was not just a single cyberattack.

What happened to Whisky Auctioneer?

As it turns out, the situation was more complicated than a single DDoS attack.

According to a notice on its website, the company was actually seeing double:

"We were victims of a sustained Distributed Denial-of-Service (DDoS) attack on Monday 20 April 2020 causing significant disruption to our service, but with no evidence of data compromise as a result of this specific attack.   

Despite our immediate response  with  actions to  protect against this occurring again, a further targeted, technically sophisticated, sustained and malicious attack occurred. This occurred at around 22:30 (BST) on 21 April 2020. Shortly after, we took down the site in order to facilitate investigations."

The site was actually struggling with two consecutive DDoS attacks, which explains why Whisky Auctioneer shut down the website so quickly.

Whisky Auctioneer plans to restart The Perfect Collection auction as quickly as possible. And when it does, it will do so without preexisting bids:

"Note that due to the timeframe elapsing in restarting this auction we feel that the best way to proceed is to remove existing bids and restart the auction  from the starting  bid levels. This approach takes into account that customer circumstances might have changed in the intervening weeks  and we could not rightly hold them accountable for bids placed previously. "

5 steps to improve cybersecurity announced

In addition to explaining the circumstances of these attacks, Whisky Auctioneer made some cybersecurity related commitments.

Notably, the announcement listed five steps the company plans to take to improve security moving forward:

  1. Even faster response times to cyber attack
  2. Additional security considerations on top of what is already in place
  3. Website improvements to minimize impacts
  4. Keeping one step ahead
  5. Continuing to support the investigation

The company did not provide details on how, exactly, it will achieve each of these objectives. 

Tags: DDoS Attack,