First came the email: an extortion note from a cyber gang demanding a large sum of money from Sulit.com, aka “the Craigslist of the Philippines.”
“The DDoS attackers who took us down were professionals.”
“They did their homework,” says IT manager Ron Tomimbang. “They found us on ALEXA, saw how much traffic we got, factored in our revenues and did some simple math: being taken down would cost us five thousand dollars an hour. That’s what they based the ransom on. It was all public information. These DDoS attackers were professionals.”
When Sulit.com didn’t pay up, the cyber gang, suspected to be operating from the Ukraine, unleashed a DDoS attack with the Low-Orbit Ion Cannon (LOIC) software, which utilizes botnets to generate volumetric assaults.
“They started hitting us with repeated attacks,” says Ron. “Once, we were knocked offline for an entire day. Since our website drives all revenues, the impact was devastating.”
Then, in the midst of yet another attack, Sulit.com turned to Neustar, who helped them deploy Neustar SiteProtect cloud-based DDoS mitigation. Traffic returned to normal in under five minutes.
Since then, the company has experienced no DDoS-related downtime.
“Redirecting our DNS traffic to Neustar’s cloud is easy,” says Ron, “with minimum loss of legitimate traffic. The team in the Neustar Security Operations Centers is prompt and professional. Also, SiteProtect is more affordable than other options we considered.”
Now, more than ever, Sulit.com relies on the cloud to protect its Internet infrastructure. “Before, we managed everything in house and had all our eggs in one basket,” says Ron. “After the largest DDoS attack, we started to see the benefits of diversifying our resources.” To manage external DNS, Ron’s team now uses cloud-based Neustar UltraDNS. It combines with SiteProtect’s cloud-based DDoS protection to make Sulit.com’s web infrastructure “far less vulnerable.” A very good thing, indeed, in an increasingly dangerous world.