As most of you know, we had a really tough weekend. We were attacked, in the most real sense of the word. Someone conspired against Big Cartel and intentionally attacked our servers. No sensitive information was ever at risk, but shops were offline, sales were blocked, and there were some very frustrated store owners. For that, we want to deeply apologize.
We’re incredibly sorry for the outage this weekend. We know your business is important to you, and the time you lost was precious. Your passion for your business keeps us going, and we hate that this may have put a damper on that.
So what happened exactly?
We were hit by what’s called a DDoS attack. Essentially, it’s an incredibly malicious program that slams our servers with fake traffic to prevent any real traffic from getting through. Each time we fight back to prevent the attack, they come back with a different variation that attacks in a new way. Again, these attacks aren’t designed to access sensitive data, only to make the site inaccessible. It’s quite a common headache for websites like ours, in fact our pals at GitHub are currently fighting a massive DDoS attack you may have read about.
We have to deal with these types of attacks all the time, and we have a number of systems in place that fight off the attack so that most of the time no one ever notices. Unfortunately, this time our defenses weren’t strong enough, and the attack was successful. We threw everything we had at this one, with our team working around the clock, and it ultimately took us chartering a private flight carrying in even more security hardware to finally bring it down. It was rough, as you can imagine.
What if this happens again?
Attacks like this will happen again, but our goal is to eliminate their impact. In fact, just yesterday the attacker tried again and our system was able to fight it off without a blip. Why people want to attack Big Cartel or one of our stores is anyone’s guess, but we’re investing heavily in additional security resources to be ready for it. In the coming weeks we’ll be adding even more capacity and redundancy to our system, so that we’re always bringing as much firepower to these fights as possible.
And of course, if there ever is an issue with Big Cartel that may affect your shop, we’ll continue to be transparent and detailed with you by posting frequent updates via status.bigcartel.com, Twitter, and email.
Is everything good now?
Yep. Everything is stable, strong, and shops are selling like mad again. We’re looking back through all of the communication we received from so many of you during the attack, and we can’t thank you enough for the kind words and encouragement. Here’s to the small battles we face growing our company while you grow yours. We believe in you, and this weekend you showed how much you believe in us. Thanks.